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Gov. Granholm announces Online Petition beseeching Bush to lower gas prices

In the face of possible record high prices for a gallon of gas, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm last week asked Michigan motorists to join her in calling on President Bush to support a cap on excessive oil company profits.  The Governor unveiled a LOWER GAS PRICES online petition at www.michigan.gov/lowergasprices, where, according to Granholm, “In just 72 hours, some 40,000 citizens have lent their names to an online petition asking President Bush to support a cap on excessive oil company profits.”


1“Michigan drivers may soon be paying an average of $3 or more for a gallon of gas, and it’s time for President Bush and the leadership in Washington to start protecting us from the skyrocketing cost of gasoline,” Granholm said.  “It's just not right that oil companies should be allowed to hold customers hostage to outrageously expensive gas while they rake in billions of dollars in record-setting profits.   


“If you agree with me that we need relief at the pump now, please join me in signing an online petition calling on the President to cap excessive gasoline profits,” Granholm said. 


Granholm noted that oil prices have increased 240 percent since President Bush’s inauguration in January 2001, and the average price for unleaded gasoline is 64 cents higher than this time last year.  Those increases have come shortly after Exxon Mobil is reporting a $36.1 billion profit, making it one of the most profitable corporations in the world—larger than the next four companies on the Forbes 500 list, combined.  


Granholm said 95 percent of service stations in Michigan are locally owned and operated, and even though many of them display oil company signs, they are struggling with these high costs, too. 


“Our focus is not the local service station owner but the profits being banked by the oil companies, and that’s why nearly eight months ago, I and a group of other concerned governors, urged the President to take action to bring down the sky-high prices of gasoline,” Granholm said.  “We urged the President to bring down the price of gas by capping oil profits and using federal anti-trust laws to prosecute companies pocketing extra profits at the expense of consumers in the wake of disasters like Hurricane Katrina.” 


The governors asked Congress to investigate energy profiteering and pass legislation requiring oil companies to refund excess oil profits to consumers. Granholm said the online petitions will be sent to the President.
This is just the latest in a series of actions Granholm has taken to protect consumers from rising gas prices in addition to calling on the President to cap oil profits in September 2005 and again in her 2006 State of the State message.  Over the past three years, Granholm has:


•  increased gas pump inspections and called for legislation to require gas station operators prove their pumps have been calibrated and are working properly when they apply for renewal of their operator’s license – state law requires that licenses are renewed annually;
•  sent a letter to the federal Commodities Futures Trading Commission requesting they conduct an inquiry into all contributing factors in price spikes, including any role speculators have played in driving the inflation-adjusted price of oil and gasoline toward historic high levels;


•  signed executive orders temporarily suspending state laws restricting the supply of gasoline and increasing the diesel fuel supply and called on Marathon Oil Corporation to reduce the price of gas for Michigan customers, an action that resulted in an immediate drop in the price of gas by the company – steps taken in the wake of Hurricane Katrina;


•  directed the Michigan Department of Agriculture to conduct routine surveys of gasoline prices and directed the department to refer information about potential unfair pricing practices to prosecutors for possible legal action – a step that led to the felony conviction of a Macomb County service station caught defrauding customers;


•  supported legislation to add a legal cause of action to the Michigan Consumer Protection Act that would expressly ban the practice of price gouging during states of emergency declared by the Governor.







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