Blumenthal: Let's talk gas at special session

John O'Brien Jun. 2, 2008, 3:42pm


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - The attorney general of the state with some of the highest gasoline prices is demanding legislative action.

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal on Monday wrote state lawmakers who are preparing for a special session to remind them of his recent gasoline and home heating proposals.

"No question the Legislature must act -- and act immediately -- now that Connecticut has the highest gasoline prices in the nation," Blumenthal said. "The upcoming special session is the right time for relief to consumers who are understandably and rightfully angry -- demanding answers and action."

Motorist group AAA said on its web site Monday that Alaska actually has the highest average gasoline price ($4.26 per gallon), a tenth of a cent higher than Connecticut's.

In South Carolina, drivers pay $3.79 per gallon, the cheapest in the nation.

Blumenthal wrote Senate President Pro Tempore Donald Williams and Speaker of the House James Amann. His legislation would authorize comprehensive analysis of gasoline markets by state authorities, ban gas franchisors from prohibiting franchises offering cash discounts and provide consumers with written contracts for heating oil or propane deliveries where additional charges are assessed by the company.

"This measure could be approved by the Legislature during the special session, yielding timely, essential information on our gasoline markets and offering much needed consumer protection," Blumenthal said.

The special session, which begins June 11, was scheduled to extend a real estate conveyance tax. Blumenthal stressed a need for consumer protection measures in the absence of federal action.

""I understand reservations about opening the special session to additional issues, but this one is different. Our state faces an economic crisis," Blumenthal wrote. "The Legislature must quickly and effectively address the most important issue to the citizens of our state."

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