The Federal Trade Commission has been urged to investigate “elevated and volatile” prices for gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel by three senators on Tuesday.
States on the West Coast are often hit with higher state taxes and have fewer refineries, increasing gas prices.
The three Democratic senators, Senators Maria Cantwell, Dianne Feinstein, and Ron Wyden, all Democrats from the West Coast, called for a tight watch on trading practices that set benchmark prices on fuel sold in California, Oregon, and Washington.
“We are concerned that current prices borne by consumers at the pump are disproportionate to the rise and subsequent decline in the price of crude oil over the past month and cannot be fully explained by supply and demand fundamentals,” they wrote in a letter reported by The San Diego Times.
BP America Inc, Chevron Corp, ExxonMobil Corp, Shell USA, and others will testify at a committee hearing on “Gouged at the gas station: Big oil and America’s pain at the pump.”
FTC officials did not respond to a request for comment immediately.