GOVERNOR CALLS FOR LIGHT' ON HIGH GAS PRICES
Asks Energy Secretary to Explain Sudden Increases
PHOENIX - Governor Janet Napolitano has sent a letter to the U.S. Secretary of Energy, asking for a plain and clear explanation for the sudden increase in the price of gasoline. In Arizona, gas prices are 25 cents per gallon higher than they were at this time last year, and have shot up by 20 cents in the past two weeks.
In the letter, the Governor calls on U.S. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman to "conduct a comprehensive and meaningful investigation of the refining industry," and in particular, to explain why there is an unusually high number of refinery maintenance issues occurring now, during a time of year when gas prices typically increase due to the change in fuel blends.
"It's difficult to understand why refineries are not better able to anticipate the recurring issues that they cite for seasonal price increases," said Governor Napolitano. "We need more competition in this industry."
States have very little control over the price of gasoline. But Governor Napolitano has, for several years, insisted that the federal government do a better job of protecting consumers and has repeatedly called for a national energy policy that includes transparency in the oil industry.
In the letter, she writes:
"This ongoing problem warrants a stronger response than we have seen from the federal government. Over the long run, our nation needs an energy policy that moves us closer to the goal of energy independence, while affording our consumers short-term protection against avoidable seasonal price spikes."