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H.R. 130 (95th): Petroleum Marketing Practices Act

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.


5/9/1978--Passed Senate amended. (Measure passed Senate, amended, roll call #159 (95-0)) Petroleum Marketing Practices Act - =Title I: Franchise Protection= - Prohibits a franchisor from terminating or failing to renew a franchise unless specified conditions exist. Enumerates the basis upon which a franchisor may terminate or fail to renew a franchise. Exempts trial franchises from the requirements of this Act. Requires, prior to termination or nonrenewal of a franchise relationship, that notification be furnished to the franchisee: (1) 90 days prior to the date such termination or nonrenewal take effect; (2) on the earliest date which is reasonable practicable; or (3) 180 days prior to the effective date in the case of a regional market withdrawal. Directs the Secretary of Energy to publish in the Federal Register a summary of the provisions of franchise protection, including a statement of the respective responsibilities of, and the remedies and relief available to, any franchisor and franchisee. Authorizes civil action in a United States district court by a franchisee against a franchisor for failure to comply with certain requirements of this Act. Sets forth rules regarding procedure in such civil action. =Title II: Octane Disclosure= - Requires refiners to test gasoline in order to determine its octane rating and certify such rating. Requires distributors to certify such rating to retailers. Stipulates that retailers conspicuously display such octane rating of automotive gasoline at the point of sale. Authorizes the Federal Trade Commission to: (1) require disclosure of octane requirements of new motor vehicles; (2) administer, investigate, and enforce compliance with the requirements of octane disclosure; and (3) prescribe rules which effectuate uniform methods of certifying, displaying, and determining the octane rating of gasoline. Directs the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct field testing of the octane rating and certify the results to the Commission. Makes it an unfair or deceptive act or practice in or affecting commerce under the Federal Trade Commission Act to violate the rules prescribed by this Act. Sets forth the relationship of octane disclosure to State law. =Title III: Study of Subsidization of Motor Fuel Marketing= - Directs the Secretary of Energy to conduct a study of the extent to which producers, refiners, and other suppliers of motor fuel subsidize the sale of such motor fuel at retail or wholesale with profits obtained from other operations. Specifies specific aspects such study shall examine, including the extent to which such subsidization is predatory and present, a threat to competition and the impact of prohibiting such subsidization on the competitive viability of various segments of the petroleum industry. Requires the Secretary to send such study, together with appropriate legislative recommendations, to the Congress within 18 months after enactment of this Act. Establish a procedure where the President may develop interim measures to maintain the competitive viability of the marketing sector of the petroleum industry during congressional consideration. Stipulates that such interim measures shall not take effect unless approved by both Houses of Congress within 90 days. Authorizes appropriations as may be necessary to carry out these provisions.