Lightfoot Seeks Relief for High Gas Prices, Will Ask Illinois AG to Investigate Possible Price Gouging

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Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says that her administration is considering a variety of measures to try to provide relief from high gas prices, and says that she will ask Illinois’ Attorney General to explore whether companies are gouging consumers on fuel prices.

During a press conference Thursday, Lightfoot said that her administration is coordinating with the Chicago City Council on a variety of relief options, and that the finance committee is expected to discuss those measures in open session Monday.

“Our team has been working diligently on a plan,” she said. “We’ve got to do our part at the city level to provide some relief for people that are struggling.”

While the mayor did not elaborate on the measures that her administration is considering, she has spoken in the past about potentially cutting or eliminating the city’s gasoline tax for a brief time, doing so in an interview with the Crain’s Chicago Business editorial board earlier this month.

Lightfoot said that high fuel prices, along with escalating costs of groceries and other items, are hurting consumers in a big way, and that she is asking Attorney General Kwame Raoul to investigate the rapid escalation in gas prices that has occurred in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“I’m going to encourage the Attorney General to look into this huge rapid escalation in gas prices,” she said. “I’m very concerned about gas gouging, and I’m not accusing anyone, but it’s worthy of the Attorney General to look at this, because the escalation is really pricing people out.”

As of Thursday, the national average price for a gallon of gas is $4.236, according to consumer group AAA. The state of Illinois has seen its average drop in recent days, but it still remains more than a quarter above the national average at $4.496 per gallon.

In the city of Chicago, the average price of a gallon of gas is $4.842, less than one cent lower than the record high price of $4.848 set earlier this month.

Currently, the city of Chicago charges $.08 per gallon of tax on fuel. Cook County also has a $.06 tax on each gallon of fuel, and the state of Illinois has a $.39 per gallon tax.

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