Senator Boxer: Investigate Spiking Gas Prices in California
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Yesterday I called on the Department of Justice’s Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group to investigate the recent spike in gas prices hitting Californians at the pump. To read more, including my letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, please click here.
Californians have too often been victimized as unscrupulous traders have created or taken advantage of supply disruptions to drive up energy prices. We cannot allow market manipulation by those who would seek to profit off the pain of our families at the pump.
U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer
Your Voice Counts: Californians Respond to This Message +
(NEW) Your concept of where the problem lies is not going to fix the problem. Calif. needs MORE refineries, oil wells and pipes to move gas & oil around. The government to the extent that it is stopping these from happening IS the problem. Califorian's diserve what we are getting for not demanding that the situation change. Reguards, Please post my comment.
(NEW) At times like these I, and I’m sure numerous other Californians, are deeply grateful for your support and for starting a "good fight" directed at the probable measures people in the stock market undertake. They take advantage of refinery fires and/or problems the refinery folks experience, only thinking of how much money they can rake in. There should be a law against this sort of thing, maybe then they can put these scoundrels in jail where they belong, like Madoff and company.
Juan, Long Beach
I am a low income Californian, I am self-employed, and my work revolves around my truck. And I STRONGLY believe gas prices are MUCH TOO LOW. The United States government needs to end all oil industry subsidies, all oil industry tax breaks, and there should be zero US troops guarding pipelines, oil tankers, drilling sites or refineries. The oil industry should pay market rates for their own security, not get free security by the US tax payer. All of this would raise gas prices, which would be a very GOOD thing. High gas prices mean consumers choose smaller more efficient cars, which means manufactures produce more efficient cars. People would also choose to live closer to work and shopping, allowing more use of bicycles and public transit. Instead of government mpg mandates, CAFE standards, smog maximums, and carbon taxes, we could simply let the free market do its own work by letting gas cost what it naturally does. No other net importer of petroleum pays as little as the US does. We have no reason to be complaining about the price we pay.
Thank you for looking into the recent price hikes in California gas prices. Working class and middle class families are getting squeezed out of every penny and are not left with any breathing room to save for emergencies, kids schools etc. As college educated professionals my wife and I are living paycheck to paycheck and when the industry conspires to manipulate prices we need our elected leaders in Washington to hold them accountable. Once again our sincere thanks to you and your team for standing up to defend the rights of the "47%".
Edrees, San Diego
It is a welcome site to see someone in our district watching out for their constituents on this gas problem. It seems to me when these incidents happen, it gives the gas companies the opportunity to gauge the public for excessive profits at the expense of the poor and middle class riders to and from work. Thank you for watching out for us. Keep up the good work
Michael, Laguna Niguel
Thank you for sending a message to the Dept of Justice about the oil and gas prices in California. I too, have often thought that the gas prices are being manipulated unfairly. It seems as though when the oil & gas traders want more money, they simply raise the prices. If supplies of gas are really tight, then why is gas not being rationed? It's still available everywhere in unlimited amounts. The higher price is obviously a scam or the result of unscrupulous speculation. It would be fairer if it was rationed at the price that it really costs to produce + a normal markup, rather than jack up the price for everyone for an indefinite time.
David, San Jose
I have 40 years in the Oil Refinery Business in our state of California and refinery maintenance shutdowns are an important part of the running of a refinery. There is scheduled shutdowns among other refineries so that there is no disruptions in the supply side of providing jet fuels and gasoline. I strongly believe Wall Street Commodity Traders such as was shown on NBC's "60 Minutes" are playing a strong role in the spike of oil prices. We need more oversight and regulation not more investigations that seem to bear no fruit. There is enough evidence to solidify legislation to halt the fleecing of Americans. I ask you to do more, to examine the evidence already on the table and to act swiftly. Oil will continue to be our life blood for the next 30 to 50 years and we need a stronger United States of America. Thank-you.
Thank you for looking into this. While I don't have a car and don't really care about the price rise I do care about this being an attempt to influence voters to vote for candidates that will support drilling in Anwar or on other federal lands. I feel this is an attack on our democracy.
Christopher, Long Beach
Please ask the President to allow more drilling. That would end the high cost of fuel over night. Leo, Pittsburg
I and many others I know, appreciate immensely that you and Dianne Feinstein decided to investigate these ridiculous gas price hikes. In this economy, a jump of roughly $.60/gallon more in price within one week is outrageous! People are out of jobs and are on tight budgets, just because we live in California is not a reason to take advantage of its citizens. Thank you again!
Daphne, Hermosa Beach
Thanks so much for looking into the spike in gas prices. Apparently we in Humboldt County pay the highest gas prices in CA, maybe in the whole nation. I appreciate your paying attention to the sudden increase.
I am glad you are looking into this. I live in El Segundo, California, home of one of the Chevron plants, and we experience some of the highest prices in the country. When my friends from back east visit, they complain that the gas prices here are almost $2 higher than in their home state, in rural areas. High prices inhibit travel to California, and place a lion's share of the burden on California residents. This is not fair!
Lisa, El Segundo
At times like these I, and I'm sure numerous other Californians, are deeply grateful for your support and for starting a "good fight" directed at the probable measures people in the stock market undertake. They take advantage of refinery fires and/or problems the refinery folks experience, only thinking of how much money they can rake in. There should be a law against this sort of thing,maybe then they can put these scoundrels in jail where they belong, like Madoff and company. This is primarily why I always vote for you, because you take action and don't mince your words. Thanks for being our champion.
Juan, Long Beach
Good for you for raising this issue! I am okay with higher prices based on taxes that send money to infrastructure and discourage wasteful energy use. But higher prices driven by speculation and profit-gouging are disgraceful!
Deborah, San Diego
I so appreciate your efforts here (as well as everywhere). I'm 76 yrs. old and on SS. Never been affluent but always managed. This is the first time in years that I have truly worried about the consequences of these outrageous gas prices. Also tired of being ripped off. Thanks again.
Relly, Palo Alto
Thank you for your email message titled "Investigate Spiking Gas Prices in California". In my view, even $5 a gallon is too cheap. Burning gasoline damages our climate, and coping with that damage will be far more expensive.
Even is there were a shortage of gas, that’s no reason to let the price of gas go as high as it is. This is price gouging. Governor Brown has helped some bringing in winter gas early. I just wonder how much more profit the gas co`s have made this year. It just isnt fair. I have cut my buying to $20.00 for around 4 gallon per week. I dont go very far, just essentials places.
Edward, San Bernardino
Thank you for looking out for us! Please consider drafting a new law requiring oil companies to build additional refineries as the population increases to keep up with demand. And then require them to build one more that can go online in case of an emergency so this won't happen again. The oil companies should be required to use their money and NOT be allowed to raise prices on US to pay for it as they are investing in their own business. These oil company executives should be required to lower the price of gasoline within a similar time frame that they raised it. One of the patterns I've noticed is that the price goes up very fast and when it goes down it's always a LOT slower.
Thank you for taking this bold stand against the gas industry's repeated gouging of California citizens and visitors. Although nothing may come of it, the working class and retired seniors living on very limited means applaud you for this act.
Thank you for addressing this issue. It will certainly cause a hardship for our family. We already were paying almost $1000 a month in gas. My husband just got his work truck and gas card back last week and we were looking forward to saving money. We appreciate all you do.
Susan, Alta Loma
Thank you so much, Senator, for looking into this situation. It just "feels wrong" with oil prices where they are right now. I just do not trust the oil companies - not to mention the traders and speculators who make huge profits at the expense of regular consumers. Please keep us informed of what comes of this inquiry.
Debra, Long Beach
It is my feeling that because of our energy crisis, increase in fuel prices. That you need to back off and cut some of the regulations we have in place. The main reason gas is so high in California is because the fuel companies have been regulated to death. California now is an average of .50 cents a gallon more than Arizona. Any new taxes or fines we stick the energy companies with gets transferred to the consumer. Right now we need more immediate solutions to our energy problems, as well as more sources.
Ed, Mission Viejo
Thank you Senator for taking the steps toward investigating the thugs that bully the California people and economy. I believe a civil suit is in order, and regulation of those who are clearly out of control with their 'speculative' pricing. There needs to be accountability, and there's nothing better than a financial motivator (civil suit) to gain traction. Thank you for your efforts, I hope it helps.
Marc, Santa Rosa
I applaud your letter to A/G Holder & I hope it gets some action. I also hope that this isn't being done just for the publicity it may generate. It is pretty obvious that no one in Congress wants to rock the boat when it comes to taking on Big Oil & the speculators. A lot of bluster & threats take place but nothing of any consequence ever gets done & the laws stay the same. Again, I appreciate your writing to A/G Holder & we'll all be watching to see if anything comes of it!
thank you for speaking up on this. we have been ripped off for years by the oil companies, and there seems to be no regulation on this. it's about time that this should be investigated. they have record profits and somehow get away with arbitrarily raising prices. the reasons we've been given for years are totally bogus. please see this through until we get resolution. i doubt we will see rebates, but the thievery has to stop.
I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for initiating the investigation into the recent spike in gas prices. It is completely unnecessary and really hurts California families in the most fundamental ways possible. We all have to get to work or to church or to school. Most of us don't live close enough to walk or take public transportation - it simply isn't the nature of our state. We are a state of roads and freeways - and the petroleum industry is well aware of that. So, thank you. I don't know if any help will come from it, but it is good to know someone is at least trying.
Dawn, El Cajon
As someone who tries very hard to conserve fuel, I find it difficult to believe there is a "good" reason for the price fluctuation. You have my support and my gratitude.
I appreciate you taking action on the gas crisis we are experiencing in California.
I tend to agree with you. It seems amazing convenient that these issues with refineries are going on so close to the election and the oil companies are being given air time to make this a referandom on California's clean fuel/air regulations. Just all too convenient and suspect in my view. The price gouging is in spite of the consumer and would it kill them to put a tiny dent in their profits for the better good? Best regards,
It's great that you would like to investigate why gasoline prices have spiked in California, but honestly you need to do something about it. Many of us are tired of just saying you're looking into it, you need to act where it can help consumers. What I've seen in the past is that the oil companies are fined, which gives money to the government, isn't that too at the expense of the California consumer? Do something that allows us to get a rebate from the oil companies that we patronize. I can prove how much gas I purchase, so give me a option to get a rebate. Your talk needs to be action that consumers can feel and benefit from. Thanks...
Robert, Pleasant Hill
What I find disturbing is that as consumers we are paying for Chevron's errors. What incentive does Chevron have to correct its behavior when we, not Chevron, carry the cost and financial burdon of its mistakes? There is no accountability where it counts - in Chevron's, not our, pocketbooks. make Chevron pay for its mistakes. not us. as it stands now Chevron is profiting from this crisis.
And when you find that they are manipulating the market, then what? There are no regulations in the oil industry, because they give too much money to politicians. Heck, they've written legislation to give themselves our tax money in subsidies no matter how much money they make in profits. We had eight years of oil men running this country and look where it's gotten us. We're still cleaning up the mess. Nothing will ever change until the LOBBYING MONEY is taken out of the political process.
Gale, Sana Rosa
We understand the refinery fires have contributed, but with them happening much more frequently, it begs the question of whether the refinery is kept in good condition or is negligence to blame. It is SO disheartening to be paying such high prices when the oil companies continually report such high profits. Keep the pressure on for more disclosure. Thank you!
Margaret, San Jose
Thank you for the email message that you are investigating the recent surge in prices at the pump! These past weeks have seen ridiculous increases and your efforts are appreciated.
Thank you for your fight against high gas prices. As I am now retired and on a fixed income, it seems as the plethora of propositions to raise taxes along with the arbitrary raising of gasoline prices is going to put a serious danger to my ability to travel to places that are mandatory for me to visit for medical reasons. I seriously question the nebulous reasons given for the increases at the pump. And while I and my wife have curtailed trips such as visits to the children and grandchildren it would be nice to resume such pleasures. Therefore I beseech you to be be most aggressive in your quest to investigate the reasons for gasoline cost increases.
With all do respect rather than trying to kick the big oil folks why are you not looking at the California Air Resource Board? With cap and trade bill 32 about to be implemented what choice do they have but to pass the cost onto the consumer. Why do we have California only fuel? Why do we put Ethanol in are fuel? Why is Chevron not being given permits to rebuild the fire damage? These are questions that we the people of California need answers to.
It wouldn't surprise me if you discovered that someone with a hand on the gas valves decided that making life more difficult for Californians might persuade some they need to vote for a new President. Just like the Republican Congress members' vow in 2008 to oppose any and all proposals of the Obama administration, some think undermining the social peace sheds a bad light on the current administration. I say such actions threaten the American democracy.