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H.R. 103 (ih) To provide that no more than 50 percent of funding made available under the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981 for any fiscal year be provided for home heating purposes. [Introduced in House] ...


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108th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                H. R. 1039

To prohibit certain discriminatory pricing policies in wholesale motor 
                  fuel sales, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                           February 27, 2003

 Mr. Thompson of California (for himself, Ms. Woolsey, Mrs. Capps, Mr. 
Case, Mr. McIntyre, Mr. Berman, Mr. DeFazio, Ms. Carson of Indiana, Mr. 
Filner, Mr. Weiner, Mrs. Davis of California, Mr. Lipinski, Ms. Norton, 
Mrs. Napolitano, Mr. McGovern, Mr. Kucinich, Mr. Gutierrez, Mr. Honda, 
Ms. Berkley, and Mr. Capuano) introduced the following bill; which was 
            referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 A BILL


 
To prohibit certain discriminatory pricing policies in wholesale motor 
                  fuel sales, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

     This Act may be cited as the ``Wholesale Motor Fuel Fairness and 
Competition Restoration Act''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

     The Congress finds that--
            (1) both wholesale and retail motor fuel prices are the 
        result of a number of complex factors, including those related 
        to supply, refining, consumer demand, and oil company cost, 
        pricing, and marketing practices;
            (2) certain cost, pricing, and marketing practices employed 
        by the oil companies are unfair and anticompetitive, and 
        contribute to the unjustified price of retail motor fuel 
        charged the American consumer;
            (3) among the unfair and anticompetitive oil company 
        practices are price zoning, redlining, discriminatory wholesale 
        motor fuel pricing, and a complex system of cost allocation 
        that hides the factors on which wholesale costs are based;
            (4) the oil companies' practice known as price zoning is 
        one by which prices for motor fuel are set solely because of 
        the retail station's geographic location unrelated to cost-of-
        business factors;
            (5) price zoning allows an oil company to artificially 
        increase or depress retail motor fuel prices in order to secure 
        an unfair market advantage against competitors;
            (6) the oil companies engage in a practice known as 
        redlining, whereby a refiner refuses to sell motor fuel to 
        distributors or particular geographic markets;
            (7) redlining allows an oil company to force concessions 
        from a distributor and affords the company the opportunity to 
        exert undue influence in a particular area or region;
            (8) the oil companies engage in a practice of 
        discriminatory wholesale pricing of motor fuel based on the 
        relationship of the purchaser to the oil company and the degree 
        of competition they provide;
            (9) discriminatory pricing allows oil companies to charge 
        different wholesale prices to company owned and operated retail 
        stations, franchisees, and independent retailers though all may 
        be situated in the same community and face the same competitive 
        and operating factors;
            (10) the oil companies engage in a complex system of cost 
        allocations by which they employ rebates, incentives, credits, 
        and market enhancement allowances that hide the factors on 
        which wholesale prices are based or published;
            (11) the complex system of cost allocation allows oil 
        companies to post a ``wholesale price'' that is far different 
        from the actual wholesale price that would be revealed if the 
        cost factors were publicly identified and appropriately 
        allocated; and
            (12) it is appropriate for the Federal Government to 
        prohibit these unfair oil company cost, pricing, and marketing 
        practices, to restore fair and competitive practices to the 
        wholesale sale of motor fuel, and to allow American consumers 
        to assess for themselves the factors that contribute to the 
        price changes they pay at the retail pump.

SEC. 3. PRICE DISCRIMINATION PROHIBITION.

    (a) Prohibition.--
            (1) In general.--It shall be a violation of this Act for an 
        owner or operator of a terminal facility to sell motor fuel 
        from the terminal facility to any person at a price in excess 
        of the price it charges any other person, including a 
        distributor or retailer which it owns or with which it is 
        affiliated.
            (2) Price determination.--For purposes of this subsection, 
        the price an owner or operator of a terminal facility charges a 
        distributor or retailer which it owns or with which it is 
        affiliated shall be the price determined pursuant to the 
        regulations issued under section 4(a).
            (3) Exception.--A sale shall not be in violation of this 
        subsection if it is made pursuant to the terms of a franchise 
        or sales contract entered into before the date of the enactment 
        of this Act.
    (b) Civil Penalty.--The Federal Trade Commission may assess a civil 
penalty, not to exceed $1,000,000, for each violation described in 
subsection (a).
    (c) Criminal Penalty.--Whoever knowingly violates subsection (a) 
shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned not 
more than 5 years.
    (d) Effective Date.--This section shall take effect 6 months after 
the date of the enactment of this Act.

SEC. 4. FULL DISCLOSURE.

    (a) Requirement.--The Federal Trade Commission, in consultation 
with the Secretary of Energy, shall issue regulations requiring full 
disclosure by refiners and distributors of their wholesale motor fuel 
pricing policies, with a separate listing of each component 
contributing to prices, including the cost of crude oil (with 
exploration, extraction, and transportation costs shown separately if 
the refiner or distributor is also the producer of the crude oil), 
refining, marketing, transportation, equipment, overhead, and profit, 
along with a description of any rebates, incentives, and market 
enhancement allowances. Such regulations shall establish procedures for 
determining the price an owner or operator of a terminal facility 
charges a distributor or retailer which it owns or with which it is 
affiliated.
    (b) Effective Date.--The regulations issued under subsection (a) 
shall take effect 6 months after the date of the enactment of this Act.
    (c) Public Dissemination.--
            (1) Requirements.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), the 
        Federal Trade Commission shall ensure that all information 
        acquired pursuant to the regulations issued under subsection 
        (a) is made available to the public as follows:
                    (A) Such information may be disseminated to the 
                public through the Energy Information Administration.
                    (B) Such information shall be required by the 
                Federal Trade Commission to be--
                            (i) conspicuously posted at all retail 
                        motor fuel facilities in a manner so as to be 
                        clearly available and understandable to retail 
                        consumers; and
                            (ii) included in or with each invoice for 
                        the wholesale sale of motor fuel.
            (2) Exception.--The requirements of paragraph (1) shall not 
        apply to trade secrets and commercial or financial information 
        protected from disclosure under subsection (b)(4) of section 
        552 of title 5, United States Code (commonly referred to as the 
        Freedom of Information Act).

SEC. 5. DEFINITIONS.

     For purposes of this Act, any term defined in section 101 of the 
Petroleum Marketing Practices Act (15 U.S.C. 2801) shall have the 
meaning given the term in that Act.
                                 <all>

Pages: 1

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