Here’s the story, via AP:
WASHINGTON – President Bush, under pressure to do something about gasoline prices that are expected to stay high through the summer, has ordered an investigation into possible cheating in the markets.
During the last few days, Bush asked his Energy and Justice departments to open inquiries into whether the price of gasoline has been illegally manipulated, said White House press secretary Scott McClellan. Bush planned to announce the action Tuesday during a speech in Washington.
It’s unclear what impact, if any, Bush’s investigation would have on prices that are near $3 a gallon. Asked if Bush had any reason to suspect market manipulation, McClellan responded, “Well, gas prices are high right now, and that’s why you want to make sure there’s not.”
Republicans who control Congress have become concerned that the high cost of filling up could become a problem for them in the November elections. Polls suggest that voters favor Democrats over Republicans on the issue, and Bush gets low marks for handling gasoline prices.
House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., urged Bush in a letter Monday to order a federal investigation into any gasoline price gouging or market speculation.
“There is no silver bullet,” Frist said Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” but “we need to make sure that any efforts at price-gouging be addressed and addressed aggressively.” Meanwhile, Frist said, consumers should take steps to conserve gasoline — drive at slower speeds, tune up car engines for maximum efficiency and carpool.
McClellan said Bush had already ordered investigations into market pricing.
“We share a commitment with congressional leaders to make sure that we’re acting to ensure that there is no price gouging,” McClellan said.
I’m with Tigerhawk on this one.