The Commons is a weblog for concerned citizens of southeast Iowa and their friends around the world. It was created to encourage grassroots networking and to share information and ideas which have either been suppressed or drowned out in the mainstream media.

"But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, when all those legs and arms and heads, chopped off in battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place;' some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of any thing, when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection." (Henry V, Act V, Scene 4)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Judiciary Hearing on Oil Prices and Market Failure:

Judiciary Hearing on Oil Prices and Market Failure:
A Federal Investigation Denied
May 16th, 2007 by Jesse Lee

The Judiciary Committee Task Force on Antitrust has concluded its hearing, “Prices at the Pump: Market Failure and the Oil Industry.” Richard Blumenthal, Attorney General for the State of Connecticut, describes a meeting he had with US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales requesting a federal investigation into the oil industry:

Full transcript:

“As I was driving here from the airport I thought back to a meeting that I had with the United States Attorney General less than a year ago, involving a number of my colleagues from all around the country, both Republican and Democrat Attorneys General, who met with him and the chairman of the FTC with the single purpose of persuading them to begin a federal investigation. And unfortunately, our plea went unheeded then — there has been no effective federal investigation.

“We pleaded with Attorney General Gonzales and FTC Chairman Majoras, Platt, [sic] to begin an investigation of the oil industry, and we offered our partnership in that work. All 50 Attorneys General have hands full investigating monopolistic abuses on the part of the oil industry, but we lack the authority, and expertise, and resources of the federal government. And so we invited, we beseeched the federal government to join us in that investigation and so far they have declined to do so.

“There is a need to provide greater authority but also to use that authority effectively to enforce the law. The law without enforcement is dead letter. And so, as we review what can be done to change the law, I think at the top of the priorities ought to be the kinds of demands that you have made, Mr. Chairman, and other Members of the Committee and Congress, that the Justice Department be more vigorous in enforcing these laws that protect against anti-trust and consumer abuses.”


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