Massachusetts Lawmaker Calls for Federal Gas Price Probe

BOSTON -- A Massachusetts congressman has called on federal regulators to examine "abnormalities in the gasoline markets" given high gasoline prices in the region, according to a report by

U.S. Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee, called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate potential price fixing in the New England retail gasoline sector.

In Massachusetts, the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $3.89, according to AAA, compared to a national average of $3.78. Some retail prices in the state were reported to be as high as $3.93.

Joe Petrowski, chief executive of the Cumberland Farms Gulf Oil Group, told the Boston Globe the possibility for regional price manipulation "are nil" while analysts told the newspaper that higher prices for imported crude oil were contributing to higher gasoline prices in New England. New England refiners typically use Brent crude, an overseas blend.

Massachusetts drivers are hardly alone when it comes to higher gasoline prices. As previously reported by CSNews Online, gasoline prices in California have approached $5 per gallon because of refinery issues. The average price there was $4.80, down 6 cents from a week ago.

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