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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 12:47 p.m., Thursday, March 23, 2006

Bills that would suspend gas cap OK'd

By Treena Shapiro
Advertiser Government Writer

House and Senate committees passed out two bills today that would suspend the state's controversial gas cap law.

While House members were expected to support a suspension and eventual repeal, Sen. Ron Menor's recommendation for a compromise with the House came as a shock.

Reading from a written statement, Menor, one of the gas cap's chief advocates, said he had misgivings about the House position, but added:

"I am not opposed to the concepts of transparency, monitoring and even testing the proposition that the oil companies would refrain from their earlier price-gouging practices if only they were monitored in a manner in which their pricing behavior would be conspicuous to the news media and the public."

Menor's proposals included:

i Immediate and indefinite suspension of the wholesale price cap;

i Reformulating the gas cap into a fair price level;

i Reinstatement of the gas cap for two weeks if the wholesale price of gas goes above the fair price level for two consecutive weeks.