Gore urges open FTC hearings on gas prices

US Vice Pres. Al Gore Thursday urged the Federal Trade Commission to hold public hearings during its investigation of high gasoline prices in the Chicago-Milwaukee area. Gore also announced the third part of his national energy policy proposal, a mass transit initiative to encourage investments in light rail systems, buses, and high-speed trains.

Jun 30th, 2000


US Vice Pres. Al Gore Thursday urged the Federal Trade Commission to hold public hearings during its investigation of high gasoline prices in the Chicago-Milwaukee area.

Gore reminded a Chicago audience that, on May 30, he first called for an FTC investigation into possible "price-gouging, collusion, or anticompetitive practices by the oil industry." He said open hearings�as opposed to the usual behind-closed-doors FTC investigations�would give the public access to all testimony.

He told his audience, "You deserve the independence to get in your car and drive anywhere you want to go, on your own schedule, without emptying your wallet at every filling station."

Gore also announced the third part of his national energy policy proposal, a mass transit initiative to encourage investments in light rail systems, buses, and high-speed trains.

Gore's program would encourage investments to convert buses to cleaner-burning fuels and install emergency radios and antilock brakes. Another provision would promote construction and modernization of light rail, subway, and other rail systems. It would offer financial incentives to encourage revitalization of neighborhoods around rail stations and would help rural communities build systems to large cities. The plan also would promote new high-speed rail systems and improvements to existing railroads.

The Natural Gas Vehicle Coalition criticized the Gore energy program because it lacks "significant economic incentives for the purchase and use of natural gas and other alternative-fuel vehicles."

The program would encourage construction of highly fuel-efficient vehicles, but NGVC said that approach is flawed because they still would use imported petroleum and "it will be years before these ultrahigh-efficiency vehicles are available in significant numbers."

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