Evidence of Manipulation at the Pumps

By: Victoria Langley
By: Victoria Langley

A fill-up at the gas station is more than many people can afford, and Florida's Attorney General is concerned someone's making money at the expense of average citizens.

Crist is opening a formal anti-trust investigation after economists from the University of Florida and Columbia University told him there is evidence of price manipulation. “We're all for people making a profit, there's nothing wrong with that, but profiteering at the expense of the consumer when families need to get kids to school and you need to get to work and you'd like to go somewhere for Memorial Day Weekend, it's getting to be a real problem.”

The petroleum industry still blames factors beyond its control. About a dollar from every gallon goes to the record-high cost of crude oil. 50 cents goes to taxes.

And industry experts like David Mica of the Florida Petroleum Council say they're only left with about 30 percent to cover refining, transportation, and wholesale and retail markups. In reality there really is not that much room in the situations that we have for manipulation of prices.”

The Attorney General is giving the oil companies until June 30th to respond to his subpoenas. He is asking ask the gas companies to provide information and records pertaining to the cost of acquisition, production, inventory, and the wholesale and retail pricing of gasoline.

A spokeswoman says Crist will decide whether to pursue legal action depending on the results of the subpoenas.

A sample of the subpoenas can be found at
myfloridalegal.com/GasSubpoena.pdf

The companies issued subpoenas are:

BP Products North America, Inc.
c/o The Prentice-Hall Corporation System, Inc.
1201 Hays Street, Suite 105
Tallahassee, FL 32301

Chevron-Texaco Corporation
c/o The Prentice-Hall Corporation System, Inc.
1201 Hays Street, Suite 105
Tallahassee, FL 32301

Citgo Petroleum Corporation
c/o CT Corporation System
1200 S. Pine Island Road
Plantation, FL 33324

Conoco-Phillips Company
c/o United States Corporation Company
1201 Hays Street, Suite 105
Tallahassee, FL 32301

Exxon-Mobil Corporation
c/o Corporation Service Company
1201 Hays Street, Suite 105
Tallahassee, FL 32301

Marathon Ashland Petroleum, LLC
c/o CT Corporation System
1200 S. Pine Island Road
Plantation, FL 33324

Motiva Enterprises, LLC (Shell)
c/o CT Corporation System
1200 S. Pine Island Road
Plantation, FL 33324

Amerada Hess Corporation
c/o CT Corporation System
1200 S. Pine Island Road
Plantation, FL 33324


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