Casperites feel impact of rising gas prices as House passes price gouging bill

A woman fills her car up with gas in Casper.
A woman fills her car up with gas in Casper.(Katie Reed)
Published: May. 20, 2022 at 5:10 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - On Thursday, the US House voted 217-207 to pass a bill giving the Federal Trade Commission the authority to investigate energy companies for alleged price gouging. The vote comes as gas prices hit new record highs across the country.

“I’m impacted financially, but we’re all forced to either pay the price or walk or ride a bike, which I’ve resorted to,” said one concerned Casperite named Ezra.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Katie Porter of California and Rep. Kim Schrier of Washington, aims to ban the sale of fuel at an excessive price during energy emergencies. It would give the president the power to issue a declaration making it unlawful for energy companies to increase prices that are “unconsciously excessive.” The particulars of the price threshold were not contained in the bill.

Those against the bill cited concerns that it is targeting the oil and gas industry without proof of actual price gouging, or that it may further reduce supply and worsen the current situation.

In Casper, people are feeling the effects of rising gas prices and are making tough choices with their budgets.

“I’m a single mom, so it’s really hard for me because I live in MidWest, so we don’t get to come to town as much as we used to. We definitely don’t get to do as much as I used to. My daughter’s at state track right now so I had to come in, but it’s definitely been hard on my budget, we’re not doing as much as we could,” said single mother Katie.

In the days leading to the vote, it was unclear if the bill would have enough support to pass. Four Democrats joined all of the House Republicans in voting no. The legislation will head to the Senate, where many predict based on the lack of Republican support, it will not get the 60 votes needed to pass.

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