NY13 Blog; Retaking NY-13 from Rep. Vito Fossella

Following the corruption, ineffectiveness and hypocrisy of Rep. Vito Fossella.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Why is Fossella protecting Exxon's interests?

On February 28, 2007 HR 1252 was submitted titled the "Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act." The summary of this bill reads;

"Federal Price Gouging Prevention Act - Makes it unlawful for any person to sell crude oil, gasoline, natural gas, or petroleum distillates at a price that: (1) is unconscionably excessive; or (2) indicates the seller is taking unfair advantage unusual market conditions or the circumstances of an emergency to increase prices unreasonably."

Two fellow NY state Republicans co-sponsored this legislation;
On February 28, 2007 Republican Rep. McHugh (NY)
On March 20, 2007 Republican Rep. Kuhl (NY)

On May 23, 2007 the House voted on this bill, passing it by a vote of 284 - 141. Rep. Vito Fossella voted against it.

On May 23, 2007, the same exact day this bill came to a vote on the floor, and the same exact day that Rep. Vito Fossella voted against protecting Americans from massive oil conglomerates such as Exxon Mobil, Rep. Vito Fossella submitted HR 2460. Admittedly we are quick to suggest Rep. Fossella is useless and does little or no work that is meaningful in Congress so we ask you to judge for yourself his work in this area. What is his bill?

HR 2460 is titled the 'Federal Energy Price Protection Act.'

What does the bill do?

It shall be unlawful for any supplier to increase the price at which that supplier sells, or offers to sell, crude oil, gasoline, or petroleum distillates in an area covered by a Presidential proclamation issued under section 4(a)(1) by an unconscionable amount during the period beginning on the date the proclamation is issued and ending on the date specified in the proclamation.

So it, just like the bill he voted against calls for making it illegal to unconscionably raise the price of gasoline to take advantage of consumers specifically during emergencies. So what is Fossella thinking? Clearly HR 1252 had bi-partisan support, since his own NY Republican co-workers are supporting it. The difference is that he does not want to make it illegal for gas companies to unconscionably make profits off of consumers unless President Bush declares the region to be in some sort of disaster emergency. So he wants to leave it up to the President whose family has vested interests in major oil companies to declare when it would be illegal for Exxon to gouge prices for the sole purposes of increasing profits. [updated: after review this is incorrect] Aside from this what are the other differences, mainly the severity of the crime;

HR 1252; the good bill that passed (Fossella voted against)
HR 2460; the sham bill Fossella wrote

HR 1252; $3 million maximum civil penalty
HR 2460; $5 million maximum civil penalty
(Note this is the only occasion where Fossella lays out a stronger penalty)

HR 1252; Each day of a violation should be considered a separate violation
HR 2460; Each determination of a violation should be considered a separate violation

HR 1252; $1 million civil penalty for falsification of information
HR 2460; nothing

HR 1252; $150 million maximum criminal penalty
HR 2460; $1 million maximum criminal penalty

HR 1252; $2 million maximum individual criminal penalty
HR 2460; $1 million maximum criminal penalty

HR 1252; 10 years imprisonment for individual criminal convictions
HR 2460; 2 years imprisonment for individual criminal convictions

So why is Rep. Vito Fossella voting against the stronger bill and introducing his own mock proposal intentionally weakening fines, prison sentences and penalties, consider this;

$10,500 from Exxon Mobil
$5,000 Occidental Petroleum Corp PAC
$5,000 Valero
$2,500 Texaco
$1,000 Shell Oil Company

Source: FEC

The choice was Fossella's and he sold out his constituents to support Exxon Mobil.

For all your latest Fossella stories become a friend on Twitter.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home