California Subpoenas Oil Refiners Over High Gas Prices

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Why are gas prices in California higher than nearly every other area in the country?

Golden State Attorney General Kamala Harris wants to know the answer and has subpoenaed refiners Chevron Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp., Valero Energy Corp. and Tesoro Corp. to find out, reported Digital Journal. Of particular question is why a state that drills for its own oil and also processes crude in refineries within its borders pays such a high rate for gasoline at the pump.

On June 30, AAA reported the average price for a gallon of gas in California was $2.90, 71 cents per gallon above the national average price per gallon.

All companies involved acknowledged they received subpoenas or at least were contacted by the California Attorney General’s Office.

Gordon Schremp of the California Energy Commission told the news outlet his agency was also investigating price hikes in 2015 he called “extraordinary,” and had been in contact with the Attorney General’s office.

“We are aware that they [are conducting an investigation] because off and on they’ve talked to us about what was going on with the 2015 market, important factors that can cause spikes in the market," he told the news source.

Rebecca Adler of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers told Digital Journal she is “confident that nothing will come of” the subpoenas.

However, Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, said it is “great” a law enforcement official is questioning equitable pricing within the market.

Harris is running for the U.S. Senate on the Democratic ticket in November. 

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