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Governors call for federal gas price gouging probe

[JURIST] Eight Democratic governors have called on President Bush and Congress to investigate reports of gas price gouging following Hurricane Katrina [JURIST news archive]. Citing a study [PDF text] by a University of Wisconsin economist that concluded rising gas prices were not solely attributable to Katrina, the governors said in a letter [PDF text] dated Tuesday that an investigation was needed into possible profiteering by some oil companies. Economist Don Nichols [official profile] concluded in the study that crude oil prices had been relatively steady following Katrina, which differs markedly from soaring prices at the pump. Governors from Wisconsin, Oregon, Michigan, Illinois, New Mexico, Iowa, Montana and Washington signed the letter. A spokesperson for the president said he has asked Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to handle allegations of profiteering, and the Senate passed legislation last week that requires the Federal Trade Commission [official website] to investigate possible price gouging. WI Gov. Jim Doyle [official website] has a news release on the governors' request. CBS News has more.

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