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Highlights

Congress attempted to minimize the effects of rapidly increasing prices for imported oil by passing the Emergency Petroleum Allocation Act which established petroleum pricing controls. The Department of Energy (DOE) seeks to identify oil pricing violations, recover oil company overcharges, and obtain restitution for parties injured by the overcharges.

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Recommendations

Matter for Congressional Consideration

Matter Status
Congress should approve the DOE funding request, assuming it is reasonable and appropriate, for DOE to carry out a plan for resolving the violations and litigation outstanding when deregulation occurred.
Closed

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Internal Revenue Service 1. The Commissioner of IRS should conduct a study to determine the effect that successful legal challenges to DOE regulations could have on IRS ability to enforce the Windfall Profit Tax Act. The Commissioner, through the Secretary of the Treasury, should then issue IRS regulations that reflect the changes required by the study.
Closed
Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.
Department of Energy 2. The Secretary of Energy should (1) allow refunds to customers only when DOE can assure itself that such refunds will result in restitution to injured parties; and (2) direct the appropriate enforcement officials, when injured parties cannot be readily identified, to petition the Office of Hearings and Appeals to implement special refund procedures to identify and make refunds to parties who have suffered injuries because of overcharges. After applying this process, deposit any remaining escrow accounts' funds and the remaining cash proceeds of consent orders directly into the United States Treasury.
Closed
Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.
Department of Energy 3. The Secretary of Energy should (1) separately identify and publicly disclose restitutional and nonrestitutional provisions in consent orders; and (2) include in consent orders specific requirements for the documentation a company must provide DOE as evidence of compliance.
Closed
Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.
Department of Energy 4. The Secretary of Energy should expedite DOE efforts to issue proposed remedial orders.
Closed
Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.
Department of Energy 5. The Secretary of Energy should work with the Attorney General to (1) establish guidelines for Justice's review of settlement agreements which include companies withdrawal of civil suits against the Government; and (2) develop appropriate language to resolve current Justice objections to nonlitigative provisions in Office of Special Counsel global settlements for inclusion in pertinent future settlements.
Closed
Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.
Department of Energy 6. The Secretary of Energy should pursue ongoing litigation and continue to use administrative and court litigation, where appropriate. DOE should, however, negotiate settlements where it is deemed to be in the public interest.
Closed
Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.
Office of Management and Budget 7. The Director of OMB should assist DOE in developing a plan to include DOE personnel and funding needs for the orderly resolution of the violations and litigation outstanding when deregulation occurred. The Director should approve the plan and submit it for congressional approval.
Closed
Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

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