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On August 2, 2001, the Federal Trade Commission will hold an initial public conference to examine factors that affect prices of refined petroleum products in the United States. The conference, which does not require advance registration, will be open to the public and will be free of charge. It will be held in Room 432 of the FTC Headquarters Building at 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580, and all interested parties are invited to attend or to submit written presentations.

During the conference, the Commission will hear from a wide range of parties - including consumer groups, industry participants, and independent experts - to identify issues that merit in-depth study by the Commission in public hearings to be held later this year. The goal of this conference is to solicit information and views relevant to the major factors affecting the prices of refined petroleum products, along with the relative importance of such factors.

The Commission anticipates that participants will focus on domestic and international aspects of some or all of the following areas: 1) the supply of crude oil, including the exploration, production, importation, and transportation of crude oil; 2) the refining of fuel products and the importation of refined products; 3) the transportation of refined petroleum products; 4) the marketing and distribution of refined fuels; and 5) other factors that participants believe may be of interest to the Commission. Due to the expected high level of interest in this subject, participants will be limited to brief presentations, with questions and discussion to follow.

Written presentations regarding the conference may be submitted to the FTC on or before September 14, 2001, and should be addressed to Donald S. Clark, Secretary, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. Information on the required submission format is provided in the Federal Register notice.

For further information about attending the conference or submitting written presentations, contact: James Mongoven, Office of Policy and Evaluation, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Room 390, Washington, D.C. 20580; 202-326-2879; or by e-mail at A detailed agenda and additional information relating to the conference will be posted on the Commission's Web site,, in advance of the conference. Supplementary information is also provided in the Federal Register notice, which will be published shortly and this is also available on the Commission's Web site.

The Commission vote authorizing publication of the Federal Register notice announcing the conference was 5-0.

NOTE: A consent agreement is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission of a law violation. When the Commission issues a consent order on a final basis, it carries the force of law with respect to future actions. Each violation of such an order may result in a civil penalty of $11,000.

Copies of the testimony are available from the FTC's Web site at and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop and avoid them. To file a complaint, or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the online complaint form. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, identity theft and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to hundreds of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

(FTC File No. P010101)

Contact Information

Media Contact:
Mitchell J. Katz
Office of Public Affairs
Staff Contact:
Michael S. Wroblewski
Office of General Counsel