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Attorney General William Sorrell Asks FTC To Investigate Vermont's High Gas Prices

CONTACT: Wendy Morgan, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-5479

July 16, 2012

On July 13, 2012, Attorney General William Sorrell wrote to the Federal Trade Commission and asked it to move beyond its monitoring efforts into an investigation of Vermont’s gasoline prices. Sorrell noted that Vermont gasoline prices vary significantly, and are substantially higher in the northwestern part of the state than elsewhere in the state and New England. This raises the question whether the existing gas prices are lawful. The Attorney General’s letter to the FTC joins the investigation request recently made by Sen. Bernie Sanders.

In response to a request from the Attorney General’s Office, the Vermont legislature passed an act criminalizing anti-competitive collusion in its most recent legislative session. As Sorrell explained, “The law is intended to encourage whistleblowers to come forward and assist the State in prosecuting antitrust violations. The new law underscores the importance to the Attorney General’s Office of addressing anti-competitive behavior, and could be used by the State if such unlawful behavior has resulted in the disparate gasoline prices we are seeing. I encourage anyone with knowledge of the facts about Vermont’s gas pricing to contact the Attorney General’s Office.”

Sorrell offered to meet with the FTC, and to assist the FTC in an investigation of this issue which is so important to Vermonters.

  Website consulting provided by The National Association of Attorneys General.