The Michigan House Democrats introduced a resolution Tuesday calling for an investigation into Michigan's high gasoline prices, which were recently named the highest in the continental U.S. House Democratic Leader Tim Greimel (D-Auburn Hills), joined by Reps. Collene Lamonte (D-Montague) and Brandon Dillon (D-Grand Rapids) urged state Attorney General Bill Schuette to open an investigation into recent high gas prices and prosecute any producer, wholesaler or retailer suspected of price fixing.
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"Michigan drivers deserve to know why they're paying more for a gallon of gasoline here than any other place in the continental U.S.," Greimel said. "High gas prices are hurting Michigan's drivers and scaring away visitors at the height of our tourist season. If the cost for gasoline is being unfairly set by unscrupulous producers, wholesalers or retailers, those vendors need to be prosecuted."
A recent survey by AAA of Michigan found that Michigan's average price of gasoline stood at $4.22 per gallon, compared to a national average of $3.64 per gallon, making Michigan the state with the highest gas prices in the continental U.S. Michigan's high gasoline prices have been blamed on refinery problems in Illinois and Indiana that have caused a shortage of gasoline, but reporters looking into the issue have said that details about the refinery problems are hard to come by.
"State Attorney General Bill Schuette needs to investigate these claims of gasoline shortages and determine whether big oil companies are being honest with Michiganders or whether they are colluding to unfairly increase gas prices," Lamonte, sponsor of House Resolution 170, said. "Middle-class families shouldn't have to pay as much as $90 to fill up the family car. There must be a consequence for taking advantage of Michigan's drivers."
The legislators urged citizens to join the effort to open a gas price investigation. Voters can sign a petition at LowerMIGasPrices.com to join the call for an investigation.
"Everyone who feels pain at the pump should tell the attorney general that he must take action," Dillon said. "People are busting their budgets just to drive to work, go to the grocery store and get their kids to the doctor. We need relief now."