Statement from AFPI on the “Unconscionably Excessive” Price-Fixing Measures — Market Distortion is an Invitation for Recession

May 19, 2022


Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act. The bill would empower the Federal Trade Commission to crack down on whatever it deems to be “unconscionably excessive” price increases within the fuels market. This would introduce vague and open-ended price controls to the long list of this administration’s regressive economic policies, promising more supply shortages for Americans already suffering from the results of failed energy policy. The move comes as the cost to consumers for gasoline and diesel fuel continues to break record highs, and supply-side constraints persist. For instance, U.S. crude oil production levels continue to underperform compared to 2019 levels, and U.S. fuel refining capacity has been hallowed out—it is estimated that a much needed 1.69 million barrels per day of capacity will be lost by 2023 due to underinvestment and neglect. Instead of continuing to promote a false reality of energy markets by claiming energy companies are responsible for high energy inflation, the Biden Administration and leaders in Congress need to cease the war on American energy and let this nation’s responsible energy producers power our economic future and lower costs for hardworking Americans.

In response to the passage of the Consumer Fuel Price Gouging Prevention Act, former Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, Chair of AFPI’s Center for Energy Independence, released the following statement.

“Despite the Biden Administration’s misleading claims portraying record-high energy prices as ‘Putin’s Price Hike,’ or price-gouging by U.S. energy companies, the American people know that the buck stops with the Biden Administration. Price fixing is not the solution. The Biden Administration should look in the mirror. From the cancelation of the Keystone XL pipeline to the cancelation of offshore leases just last week, and many actions in between, President Biden’s war on American traditional energy production is stifling economic growth and saddling American families and small businesses with sky-high energy prices and record inflation. It is not complicated—if you eliminate an industry’s access to critical resources and capital, they will suffer and not invest. And if they do not invest, supply capacity shrinks and prices rise. President Biden’s actions have now undercut America’s ability to provide affordable, reliable, and secure energy to millions of Americans, let alone our partners around the world facing fears of fuel rationing. American energy can once again propel economic growth and empower bolder action in the face of authoritarian regimes, but this requires the Biden Administration and Progressive policymakers to get out of the way and allow industry to unleash the full potential of the United States.”