LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Proos on Friday praised Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette for warning the gas industry against any attempt to take advantage of consumers at the pump.
The attorney general also issued a letter to BP, the owner of the Indiana refinery that experienced a mechanical breakdown, as well as other major petroleum companies, outlining a need for transparency in the case of an outage or other unexpected event.
“I applaud Attorney General Schuette for putting everyone on notice about prices and reaching out to the industry for more information,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “A problem at a single plant that accounts for 20 percent of Michigan’s supply resulted in an almost immediate surge in Southwest Michigan gas prices of nearly 40 percent.”
According to GasBuddy.com, the average cost of gasoline in Michigan has already increased to more than $3 per gallon — at the time when the cost of oil is at a six-year low.
AAA said that it could take more than a month for gas prices in the Great Lakes region to go down.
“It concerns me that one facility in Indiana can cause a billion-dollar ripple effect in Michigan just weeks before the popular Labor Day weekend,” Proos said. “The hardworking people of Southwest Michigan should not be susceptible to this kind of a fluctuation when it comes to filling up the family car.
“While I am encouraged that the attorney general is looking out for consumers, this brings up larger issues about our fuel policies — from evaluating our dependence on one facility for gas to ensuring that we have the reserves on hand to handle this kind of disruption.”
If consumers become aware of direct evidence concerning a conspiracy between companies, or have verifiable evidence of a retailer charging a price grossly in excess of the price at which similar property or services are sold, they are encouraged to contact the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-765-8388 or file an online complaint at www.michigan.gov/ag.