To the bill: it's not just the world price of crude oil that is causing huge gas prices (Illinois actually has the highest gas prices). The profits of the oil companies are at all-time highs, even though the price of crude is lower than at this time last year, and there's a bill in Congress that would make gas gouging a federal crime.
Sign this petition here and if that doesn't work, try http://pol.moveon.org/stoppricegouging/
It often seems like there's nothing we can do about high gas prices (besides using less gas), but this legislation offers the hope that our government can stop the oil companies from ripping us off.
Here is the excellently-written email snip from MoveOn that explains the bill and the context better than I have:
As of yesterday, gas prices are the highest in U.S. history—we just passed the 1981 record, even adjusted for inflation. Prices could reach $4.00 per gallon in parts of the country, just in time to crimp summer vacation plans. As consumers suffer, the oil industry continues to reap the windfall—breaking profit records on an almost quarterly basis. It's outrageous!
Enough is enough. Hearings start today on H.R. 1252, a House bill that would make gas price gouging a federal crime, punishable by 10 years in prison. Speaker Pelosi has said she'll move the bill to a vote this week—if there's the two-thirds majority required to fast track the bill through the process.2
Oil company lobbyists are frantically trying to stop the bill. Your representative needs to hear from you today. Will you sign our petition asking Congress to pass the price-gouging bill—and then send it to your friends?
"Gasoline price gouging should be made a federal crime before the summer price increases hurt more American families."
Rep Bart Stupak (D-MI), sponsor of the House bill said this of his motivation to introduce the legislation:
"In April ... crude oil was $7 a barrel cheaper than last year (but) gas prices were almost 50 cents a gallon higher. Clearly there's more at play than simply the world crude oil market."