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, the cheapest price in Burlingame is $4.20/gallon at the Chevron at 1095 Carolan Ave. and $4.20/gallon at Arco at 1000 Broadway.
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
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