Senators Ask Government to Look into California Gas Prices
Six U.S. senators on Tuesday called for the U.S. Justice Department to investigate whether market manipulation by West Coast oil refiners contributed to a price spike in May and October that sent gasoline prices to record highs above $5 a gallon.
California, the most populous U.S. state and also the biggest gasoline market, is largely cut off from U.S. national pipeline and refinery networks and thus more subject to supply and price disruptions.
"We are requesting a Department of Justice investigation of possible market manipulation and false reporting by oil refineries, which may have created a perception of a supply shortage when in fact refineries were still producing," the senators said in a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
The senators cited a report from independent energy consultant Robert McCullough that said two West Coast refineries continued to operate throughout May despite reports they were shut for maintenance.
If some refineries are found guilty of running whilst claiming to be shut down in order to increase local gas prices and sell their fuel at that price, then what will be the outcome? Surely the Refinery operator will be fined, but will there be any benefit for the citizens of California?
Maybe the refineries should be forced to sell their fuel at low prices for a few months.
Despite recent good fluctuations, the cost of gas is still high for typical families. Sad but true. By the way, are you aware that joining trips to the pump with trips to the grocery store can provide some respite? If your local grocery chain offers a rewards program that translates into discounts per gallon at the pump, it would be wise of you to take advantage, if you aren't doing so already. Get much more information here.
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