Biden Asks FTC to Redouble Probe of Possible ‘Illegal Conduct’ over High Gas Prices

Gas prices have continued to rise at the pump, Biden said in a letter to the FTC, noting that the two largest U.S. oil and gas companies—Chevron and Exxon Mobil—were on track to nearly double their net income.

Andrea Shalal and Jarrett Renshaw, Reuters
Biden Asks FTC to Redouble Probe of Possible ‘Illegal Conduct’ by Oil Majors

The FTC has looked into this issue of surging gasoline prices many times and often comes up empty, according to Kevin Book, a managing director with Clearview Energy Partners. (Source: Federal Trade Commission headquarters in Washington, D.C. by Mark Van Scyoc / Shutterstock.com)

U.S. President Joe Biden on Nov. 17 said there was mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior by oil and gas companies that is keeping fuel prices elevated, asking the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to dig deeper into possible “illegal conduct” in the market.

The White House is pressing on several fronts to try to lower fuel costs, even as tight global oil supply drives gasoline and heating oil prices higher. Retail gasoline prices recently touched seven-year highs as consumer demand has recovered while oil supply remains below pre-pandemic peaks.

Biden in August asked the FTC to investigate possible illegal conduct causing the spike in gas prices, which are contributing to surging inflation. On Nov. 17, he told FTC Chair Lina Khan in a letter that further action was needed.

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