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  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u Aug 24, 2013 1:37 AM Flag

    Oil firms' practices to be reviewed after lawmakers' complaint

    Oil firms' practices to be reviewed after lawmakers' complaint

    The petroleum industry is accused of blocking sales of E15 fuel blend.

    Aug. 23, 2013
    Written by
    Christopher Doering
    Gannett Washington Bureau

    WASHINGTON — The Federal Trade Commission said it would look into charges by Midwest lawmakers that oil companies are pressuring gas stations to limit consumer access to renewable fuels.

    Earlier this week, U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley and Amy Klobuchar released a letter asking the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission to investigate possible anticompetitive practices by the oil industry, citing several cases where retailers were pressured into not carrying fuel with higher ethanol blends.

    While the FTC stopped short of opening up a formal investigation, Chairwoman Edith Ramirez vowed to “make every effort” to find and prosecute actions that violate anticompetitive rules or statutes overseen by the agency.

    “I can assure you that we will evaluate the information you have provided and the concerns you have expressed under pertinent antitrust standards,” Ramirez said in the letter to Grassley dated Aug. 19. “Protecting American consumers from anticompetitive or fraudulent practices in the energy sector has long been one of our most important responsibilities,” she said.

    The Iowa Republican, along with Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, told the regulatory bodies that they have seen reports of some gas stations being required to sell higher-grade gasoline, taking away a pump that could be used to offer renewable fuels. With many stations having only two fuel tanks, the station would have to install costly new infrastructure to sell the higher blends of ethanol.

    “I’m pleased to see the Federal Trade Commission is taking steps to investigate whether certain practices by oil companies may be impeding competition,” Klobuchar said in a statement. Grassley said Thursday he looked forward to the FTC’s findings into the allegations.

    The ethan

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