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Feinstein Requests Federal Probe into Rising Gas Prices Following Chevron Refinery Fire

She says, prices statewide have increased twice as fast as the rest of the country, yet she sees no indication the refinery fire led to a significant reduction in local supplies.

 

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.

 

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Earl Richards August 30, 2012 at 10:20 PM
To undertand the sleaze-side of Chevron, see, www.truecostofchevron.com. Why should the public pay for Chevron's negligence by paying for higher gasoline prices? Chevron should pay for their own mistakes and not the consumer. Chevron has lots of money, because in 2011, Chevron made $27 billions, paid no federal tax and received billions in tax breaks and subsidies. The hurricane and the refinery fire in Venezuela has nothing to do with the gasoline price in California. These two events are being used by the California oil industry as phony excuses to increase the price of of oil and gasoline in California. Oil for California does not come from the Gulf of Mexico and Venezuela. Oil for California comes from Alaska, Educador and California. There are 3.5 billion barrels of oil in the ground in California, so the price of a gallon of gasoline should be the same as in Saudi Arabia, about 50 cents a gallon. Jerry Brown should look into this.

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