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AG Nessel Applauds Legislative Efforts to Combat High Energy Prices
June 30, 2022
LANSING – New legislation aims at prohibiting excessive pricing for certain energy products, like gas, during spiking market trends. Purposely price gouging, under the proposed law, would be a misdemeanor and could result in jail time and a hefty fine.
Sen. Jeremy Moss (D-Southfield) and Rep. Laurie Pohutsky (D-Livonia) are sponsoring the legislation – assigned SB 1136 thus far – in their respective chambers.
Specifically, the bill defines gouging as “an unjustified disparity of more than 20%” between an energy product or service being sold and other comparable products and services before, during or after a market disruption.
“Strengthening consequences for energy price gouging will strengthen consumer protection for Michigan residents,” Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said. “My Consumer Protection Team is doing everything it can to combat predatory practices and be a watchdog for potential gas prices gouging. Protecting consumers is one of my biggest priorities as Attorney General and I commend my colleagues in the Legislature for bringing this bill forward.”
“We’re all feeling pain at the gas pump and with rising everyday costs,” Sen. Moss said. "I’ve been leading with a sense of urgency to strengthen Michigan’s consumer protection laws by taking on price gouging and predatory businesses that exploit vulnerable people during these crises we’ve been facing. We simply cannot accept these inflated prices all while oil and gas companies are enjoying record profits. I’m proud to partner with Attorney General Nessel and Rep. Pohutsky on this critical effort to provide much-needed financial relief to Michigan families."
“Time and time again, we’ve seen greedy companies looking to make a profit during times of crisis,” Rep. Pohutsky said. “Early in the pandemic, we saw food prices skyrocket. Now, it’s fuel and energy costs. It’s shameful and unacceptable, and government needs to step in to protect consumers and crack down on the predatory act of price gouging.”
If you have information regarding unfair gasoline pricing practices, please file a gasoline price gouging complaint online or call the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Team at 877-765-8388.
In December, Nessel joined Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) Director Gary McDowell in highlighting consumer protection resources to help protect Michiganders' wallets, including a new one-stop website on gas pumps.
The MDARD resource also provides a complaint process in the event you suspect you have purchased substandard fuel or that you have received a short or incorrect measure. The easy URL to the website is Michigan.gov/GasInfo.