TRENTON, NJ - The Assembly on Thursday approved a resolution calling on the New Jersey Attorney General to investigate possible price-fixing in the sale of gasoline.

Sponsored by  Democrats Wayne P. DeAngelo  and Benjie E. Wimberly, the resolution urges the Attorney General of New Jersey to investigate whether price-fixing in the sale of motor fuels is responsible for the escalation and fluctuation of motor fuel prices in this state from January 2009 to the present time. It also calls for the AG to report the results of the investigation to the governor and Legislature at the earliest possible date.

"Soaring gas prices make for painful trips to the gas station. Depending on how much time you spend on the road, you can spend hundreds of dollars a month filling your gas tank," said Wimberly in a press release. "No one wants to spend that kind of money, especially if it's going to companies that are deliberately manipulating gas prices to stuff their pockets. It is incumbent that we look into and figure out whether these increases are legitimate or fabrications. I'm certain most drivers would like to know too."

The national price of regular unleaded gasoline during September 2012 averaged about $3.85 a gallon; which was substantially higher than the $2.09 a gallon that consumers paid on average for regular unleaded gasoline between 2000 and 2009, according to the press release by the Assembly Democrats.

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The average price of regular gasoline in the United States in January 2010 was approximately $0.84 higher than the gasoline prices of January 2009, the press release said.  Following the recent unrest in the Middle East, the average price of regular gasoline in the United States in September 2012 was about $1.14 higher than the average price of gas in September 2010, with prices in New Jersey averaging $3.85, up from a price of $2.71 two years earlier.

The resolution was approved 74-4-1 by the full Assembly and now heads to the Senate for further consideration.