12
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES             H.R. NO.              H.D. 1
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                             
________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________


                     HOUSE RESOLUTION

REQUESTING THE GOVERNOR TO DIRECT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO
   VIGOROUSLY PURSUE CIVIL LITIGATION OF THE GASOLINE CASE, AND
   TO EXPRESS HOUSE MEMBERS' SUPPORT FOR THIS EFFORT.



 1       WHEREAS, gasoline prices in Hawaii continue to be
 2   extraordinarily high as compared to the United States mainland;
 3   and
 4   
 5       WHEREAS, the Attorney General has recently investigated
 6   this issue and alleged that no economic justification for this
 7   discrepancy exist; and
 8   
 9       WHEREAS, the Attorney General has further alleged that
10   certain incumbent oil companies are earning supracompetitive
11   profits in Hawaii's gasoline market at the expense of consumers
12   in this State; and
13   
14       WHEREAS, the Attorney General has alleged that substantial
15   and credible evidence that these supracompetitive prices and
16   profits are the result of agreements among these certain
17   incumbent oil companies to fix market shares and prices, all in
18   violation of state and federal law; and
19   
20       WHEREAS, the Attorney General has alleged that gasoline
21   consumers in this State have paid hundreds of millions of
22   dollars more for gasoline than they would have paid in a
23   competitive market; and
24   
25       WHEREAS, gasoline is an essential commodity and consumers
26   in this State deserve to be treated fairly; and
27   
28       WHEREAS, the high cost of gasoline in this state affects
29   all segments of Hawaii's economy, and has contributed toward
30   this State's economic recession; and
31   
32       WHEREAS, the Attorney General has alleged that these
33   supracompetitive gasoline profits are removed from Hawaii,
34   resulting in serious economic harm to the State as a whole; and

 
Page 2                                                     12
                                  H.R. NO.              H.D. 1
                                                        
                                                        

 
 1       WHEREAS, the Attorney General is a proper advocate for
 2   gasoline consumers in the State of Hawaii, who otherwise would
 3   have little or no recourse; and
 4   
 5       WHEREAS, the Attorney General has filed suit in federal
 6   district court on behalf of the natural citizens of Hawaii, and
 7   the House supports this action; now therefore,
 8   
 9       BE IT RESOLVED by the House of the Twentieth Legislature of
10   the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 1999, that the Attorney
11   General is requested to vigorously pursue civil litigation of
12   the gasoline case on behalf of all the consumers in the State,
13   and to expedite discovery of evidence, and seek a trial date
14   within the next two years; and
15   
16       BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Attorney General is
17   requested to make reports on the progress of the litigation
18   from time to time, with appropriate safeguards of litigation-
19   sensitive information, in a manner suitable to the Attorney
20   General and the Legislature; and
21   
22       BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a certified copy of this
23   Resolution be transmitted to the Attorney General and to the
24   Chair of the Federal Trade Commission.