THE SENATE                           S.R. NO.              30
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 1999                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            
                                                                
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                     SENATE RESOLUTION

REQUESTING THE GOVERNOR TO DIRECT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO
   VIGOROUSLY PURSUE CIVIL PROSECUTION OF THE GASOLINE
   OVERCHARGE CASE, AND TO EXPRESS SENATE 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 found no economic justification for this
 7   discrepancy; and
 8   
 9       WHEREAS, the Attorney General has further found 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 found substantial and
15   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 found 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 found that these
33   supracompetitive gasoline profits are removed from Hawaii,
34   resulting in serious economic harm to the State as a whole; and

 
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 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, having found sufficient evidence of violations of
 6   state and federal antitrust laws, the Attorney General has
 7   filed suit in federal district court on behalf of the natural
 8   citizens of Hawaii, and the Senate supports this action; now
 9   therefore,
10   
11       BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Twentieth Legislature
12   of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 1999, that the
13   Attorney General is requested to vigorously pursue civil
14   prosecution of the gasoline overcharge case on behalf of all
15   the consumers in the State, and to expedite discovery of
16   evidence, and seek a trial date within the next two years; and
17   
18       BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Attorney General is
19   requested to make reports on the progress of the litigation
20   from time to time, with appropriate safeguards of litigation-
21   sensitive information, in a manner suitable to the Attorney
22   General and the Senate; and
23   
24       BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a certified copy of this
25   Resolution be transmitted to the Attorney General and to the
26   Chair of the Federal Trade Commission.
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29 
30                         OFFERED BY:  ____________________________
 
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