Cantwell pushes FTC to investigate gas prices

By:  Bryan Johnson, komonews.com
SEATTLE -- If high gas prices get your goat, you are not alone. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., agrees.

"I'm going to keep fighting until federal regulators do their job, get the information, and make sure that this market doesn't ruin the U.S economy because we are paying sky-rocketing oil prices," Cantwell said.

Cantwell is not one to be ignored. The Federal Trade Commission agreed to look at the pumps. The agency will investigate to see if there's something going on at the refineries. And it will look to see if tankers stay away from port until prices go up.

Oil industry analyst Tim Hamilton warns consumers not to get too hopeful:

"I'm reluctant to get enthusiastic, because the history of the FTC over the last 15 to 20 years has been not to be concerned about the impact of oil prices on consumers," he said.

At a gas station in McCleary, even Bob Stewart who rode in on a lawnmower, and motorcyclist Patrick Kongslie were not optimistic.

"It seem like someone else is running the game," Stewart said.

"No, because the corporations run the government that's where the money is. They give tax breaks to the rich," said Kongslie.

"We want them to use their subpoena power to protect consumers, so we are glad they are in this fight to investigate and police the oil markets," said Cantwell.

"I wouldn't say that the FTC can somehow frighten the oil companies,' Hamilton said.

Could the skeptics be right? Could the prices stay high? Well, yes, they could.

You see, under present law, the FTC doesn't even have to share its findings with the consumers.