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Feinstein Seeks Probe of Soaring Gas Prices

Despite the Chevron refinery fire, Feinstein calls the hike "unjustified by supply and demand fundamentals."


U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein is calling for a federal investigation into a recent statewide spike in gasoline prices on the heels of the Chevron refinery fire in Richmond earlier this month.
  
The senator sent a letter on Tuesday to Federal Trade Commission 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.
  
That jump represents more than twice the increase in the average gas price nationwide during the same period, she said.

--Bay City News 

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