View Full Version : Calif atty general to probe possible gas profiteering

09-02-2005, 08:46 PM
Hopefully other states will follow California's lead.

From Reuters (

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California's attorney general opened an investigation on Friday into possible illegal profiteering by gas stations and oil companies in the state following Hurricane Katrina.

Meanwhile officials in San Diego said Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger should declare a state of emergency over California gas prices that they believe were unfairly inflated.

Because America's most-populous state gets none of its crude oil and very little refined product from the hurricane-devastated Gulf of Mexico, California Attorney General Bill Locker said, retailers should not be using the disaster to explain a spike in prices.

"Certainly the storm cannot be used to justify gouging Californians while thousands of our fellow Americans suffer," Lockyer said in a statement announcing the investigation.

"To unjustly profit from tragedy is unconscionable," he said. "I hope this investigation does not find that such greed has afflicted oil companies and gas station operators in California."

Lockyer said the probe would try to determine if oil companies or retailers had colluded to violate anti-trust laws, fair business practices or a state law that prohibits retailers from unjustly raising gas prices more than 10 percent during government-declared emergencies.

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