Press Release

State Overseers Mystified by Disappearing Gasoline, Skyrocketing CA Gas Prices;

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Tue, May 2, 2006 at 1:42 pm

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State Overseers Mystified by Disappearing Gasoline, Skyrocketing CA Gas Prices;

NEWS RELEASE:
May 2, 2006

CONTACT: Judy Dugan, (310) 392-0522 ext. 305, or cell: (213) 280-0175

Group calls new spike more evidence of need for gasoline supply regulation

Santa Monica, CA — Gasoline prices hit another all-time high today of $3.26 for a gallon of regular in California, even as a gallon dropped nationally, as low as $2.64 in Wyoming, according to the AAA daily report on gasoline prices. The nonprofit Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) said that, due to a lack of regulatory oversights, state officials have been unable to find out what’s going on in California markets and at the refineries to keep the price stratospheric.

Although a weekly state refinery report by the California Energy Commission, due out on Wednesday afternoon, may have more clues, a commission spokesman told FTCR "We don’t have any answers," today about the price spike. Refiners aren’t disclosing a thing about causes of a seeming short supply that is pushing up prices because no law requires them to, noted the FTCR.

"The lack of openness in refinery operations is just one more reason for regulating gasoline supply like a public utility," said Judy Dugan of FTCR. "If the state of California can’t pry loose basic daily information on what’s causing our prices to soar while others drop below $3 nationwide, the system is broken."

Refiners have a long history of manipulating manufacture and shipping of gasoline to keep prices up, said FTCR. Read reports and documents on refiners’ machinations in the past at:

http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/energy/co/?postId=4441

http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/energy/pr/?postId=2091

http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/energy/pr/?postId=6144

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