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California Oil Oligopoly Investigated

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posted on Aug, 4 2006 @ 09:48 AM
California has fourteen oil refineries. Nine of them are owned by just six companies: Exxon/Mobil, Shell, BP/Amoco, Chevron, Tesoro and Valero. Together, these six companies control 91% of the state's refining capacity. Critics charge these six companies with colludiong to lower inventories in order to maintain gas prices at all time highs. Industry advocates blame high prices on world conflict, increased demand abroad, and envirommental restrictions here at home.

---- California gasoline prices rose almost 60 cents per gallon more than commodity market prices for a gallon of crude oil from late February until mid-May, when average state prices hit the record high of $3.33 and North County prices reached $3.41.

---- California's 14 gasoline refiners had the lowest average production and inventory levels this decade between April, when inventories usually increase, and mid-June. Economists say low production and low inventories cause prices to increase.

---- While the state's gasoline demand increased, refiners switched to producing diesel fuel, further tightening the gasoline market and increasing prices.

---- Neither state politicians nor oil company executives have much incentive to lower prices and keep them low.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

I highly recommend a complete read of the article linked above. It gives a balanced look at the situation here in California, and why very little is being or can be done about it. What Golden State residents are now facing is a microcosm of what's in store for the rest of the country as the factors driving high gasoline prices continue to derail efforts to relieve the price pressure on consumers.

[edit on 8-8-2006 by UM_Gazz]

posted on Aug, 13 2006 @ 10:11 PM
Its a legacy of the deregulation of utilities and Enron. Remember the rolling blackouts and brownouts?

I imagine thats coming up for the rest of the country soon.

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