U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein is calling for a federal investigation into a recent statewide spike in gasoline prices that came on the heels of the Chevron refinery fire in Richmond earlier this month.
The senator sent a letter on Tuesday to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairman Jon Leibowitz requesting that the FTC launch an immediate probe into the rise in gas prices, which Feinstein said appears to be "unjustified by supply and demand fundamentals."
"The recent price spike began on August 6th, when a refinery fire at Chevron's Richmond Refinery reduced refining capacity at the state's third largest refinery," the senator wrote. "However, this dangerous incident has not resulted in a reduction of gasoline supply that would explain the recent rapid price increase."
Since the fire, which burned in a crude oil unit at the refinery, gas prices have gone up by an average of 30 cents per gallon statewide to reach an average of $4.21 per gallon this week, according to Feinstein.
Currently, prices in Foster City range all the way from $4.24/gallon at the Chevron at 1101 Hillsdale Blvd., to $4.50/gallon at the Valero station at 501 Foster City Blvd. In San Mateo, you can get a price of $4.09/gallon at the Gas & Shop at 609 E. 4th Ave., up to a price of $4.18/gallon at the San Mateo Auto Care & Gas at 1471 E. 3rd Ave.
That 30-cent-per-gallon jump represents more than twice the increase in the average gas price nationwide during the same period, Feinstein said.
- Bay City News Service
Did you know you can use Patch to find real-time traffic updates, as well as where to find the cheapest gas price in your city? Use Foster City Patch's commuter guide here, and use San Mateo Patch's commuter guide here.
Stay up-to-date on the latest local government and business news - follow us! And don't forget to sign up for our daily e-newsletter and breaking news alerts, delivered straight to your inbox.