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Feinstein Blames Gas Prices on 'Illegal Collusion' by Oil Companies

Sen. Dianne Feinstein accuses oil companies of engineering the current spike in gas prices. She calls on the Federal Trade Commission to take action.

On Sunday, California's senior senator charged that California's record gasoline prices may be the "results of an illegal short squeeze'' engineered by the handful of companies that refine gas here.

In a letter to the Federal Trade Commission, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, cited news reports that said Tesoro Corporation -- whose refinery in the South Bay went down for maintenance -- was taken advantage of by other gas suppliers "either through collusion or the use of market power.''

"Publicly-available data appears to confirm that market fundamentals are not to blame for rising gas prices in California,'' the California democrat wrote in a letter to FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz.

Feinstein also called on the FTC to monitor energy price and production data gathered by other government agencies, to watch for "fraud, manipulation or other malicious trading practices.''

She also urged the FTC to establish a permanent gas and oil oversight market committee, similar to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's oversight of the natural gas and electricity markets.

Feinstein said "California consumers are all-too-familiar with energy price spikes which cannot be explained by market fundamentals, and which turn out years later to have been the result of malicious and manipulative trading activity.

She reminded the FTC of past frauds, like the 2000-2001 electrical crisis, which turned out to have been caused by market manipulation by Enronand other traders. That fraud cost the state an estimated $40 billion, caused rolling blackouts, and is cited by some historians as having cost Gov. Gray Davis his political career.

TELL US WHAT YOU THINK IN THE COMMENTS

Does the spike in gas prices seem like part of the normal market fluctuation, or do you think California consumers are being fleeced?


jill smith October 09, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Four more years of Obama and we will see allot more broken homeless people.
Antonio October 09, 2012 at 03:54 PM
What's your model state: Alabama, Mississippi?
Tom October 09, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Love how the politicans ALWAYS point to boggie men. Big Oil, Wall Street, Millionaries and Billionaires. They can never take responsibility for the laws and regulations that they create and the negative impacts of them. When is the last time we have built a refinery in this State? We cant get gas from other states because we have to have special gas. It's pure madness and whats worse is so many people buy into their lies. I would love to see Diane voted out in November, but I know that will never happen. I guess we in CA. will have to suffer a lot more before people start to wake up to what they are doing to us. If you think gas prices are high now, just wait until AB 32 in fully enatcted.
Diana October 09, 2012 at 09:25 PM
It's time for Californians to take this State back, vote them out!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lash LaRue October 10, 2012 at 06:28 PM
http://www.westcentralmoinfo.com/10-10-Bank-Accounts-Beware-/14483428 We wanted to get the word out for everyone to check their bank accounts. I was shocked yesterday to see in our bank statement that $950.00 was taken from our Clinton Youth Baseball account and given to Obama for America. Peoplesmart.com is somehow connected because they withdrew money and then re-deposited it the same day. We have filed a complaint with the Missouri Attorney General but are concerned for others as some may not check their accounts regularly. If it can happen to our Youth Baseball it can happen to anyone. Thanks! Cindy Wirsig

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