EXECUTIVE DIRECTIVE No.2003-6
WHEREAS, gasoline prices have increased dramatically in recent weeks, precipitated at least in part by the looming threat of war in the Middle East related to Iraq’s non-compliance with resolutions of the United Nations and an anti-government strike in Venezuela;
WHEREAS, the American Automobile Association claims that recent increases in gasoline prices are not justified and has strongly urged the gasoline industry to show more restraint in the pricing of gasoline;
WHEREAS, high gasoline prices negatively impact Michigan consumers, the state’s tourism industry, and the overall health of Michigan’s economy;
WHEREAS, consumers of gasoline in Michigan are entitled to a fair and competitive market for gasoline and to information that will allow them to pay the lowest possible price for gasoline;
WHEREAS, healthy, vigorous competition among gasoline refiners, marketers, and retailers may be encouraged by increased awareness among Michigan consumers about gasoline prices;
WHEREAS, under Section 3 of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act, 1976 PA 331, MCL 445.903, charging a consumer a price that is grossly in excess of the price at which similar property or services are sold is an unfair, unconscionable, or deceptive method, act, or practice in the conduct of trade or commerce;
WHEREAS, under Section 5 of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act, 1976 PA 331, MCL 445.905, the Attorney General may bring an action to restrain a method, act, or practice that violates the Act;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Jennifer M. Granholm, Governor of the State of Michigan, pursuant to the power vested in the Governor by the Michigan Constitution of 1963, including Article V, Section 8, and the laws of the State of Michigan direct:
1. In order to regularly inform the Governor and Michigan consumers of current retail gasoline prices in Michigan, the Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Michigan Public Service Commission, shall conduct a regular survey of gasoline retail outlets and franchise affiliation and establish a system to disseminate information to the public about gas prices in as broad a manner as possible.
2. Departments and agencies, including the Department of Agriculture and the Michigan Public Service Commission, immediately shall refer any information regarding potential unfair gasoline pricing practices to the Attorney General for any appropriate action under the Michigan Consumer Protection Act, 1976 PA 331, MCL 445.901 to 445.922.
3. Departments and agencies immediately shall refer to the Chairperson of the Energy Advisory Committee created under 1982 PA 191, MCL 10.81 to 10.89, any information about an impending or present energy shortage that threatens the health, safety, or welfare of Michigan citizens or visitors.
The cooperation of department directors and autonomous agency heads in complying with this Directive is appreciated.
Given under my hand this 26 day of February, 2003.
Jennifer M. Granholm