Requests Attorney General to Investigate Market Procedures
On October 9, Senator Juan Vargas (D-Chula Vista) held another press conference regarding the spike in gasoline costs. This would mark his second press conference regarding the issue in a period less than one week. With California’s gasoline prices reaching a new record high at $4.671 per gallon, Senator Vargas expressed his own, as well as citizens’ concerns.
Senator Vargas praised Governor Jerry Brown for utilizing his emergency powers to allow refineries to commence the production of winter-grade fuel on October 7. However, his impromptu press conference demonstrated his outrage regarding the gas spike in southern California.
“I’m pissed off,” stressed Vargas, “and if no one else is pissed off, they very well should be.”
The cause behind Vargas’ resentment was that consumers have seen no decrease in fuel costs, which he feels should have taken effect by now. As Vargas pointed in the direction of gasoline pumps and price-per-gallon placards, he alluded to the fact that the gas spike happened almost overnight.
“With prices like these, you have to know something is up,” stated Vargas. “This is wrong, and we shouldn’t stand for it.”
That being said, he felt that if prices could increase so dramatically in such a short period of time that they could come down just as quickly.
Vargas is following suit with Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Cali.), who recently requested that the Federal Trade Commission investigate the unprecedented gas spike on suspicion of illegal market procedures.
“The market is not functioning as it should,” said Vargas. “Prosecutors should be investigating here, not politicians. Someone has to be held responsible, and this is why I am writing a letter to Attorney General Harris asking her to investigate.”
Senator Vargas added that this investigation would not negatively affect the production of winter-grade fuel in California.
It appears that Senators Vargas and Feinstein have both been provided with little, if any, information about what is really causing this issue. This in itself is troublesome. These elected officials have been left out in the cold, which poses the question: “Where does that leave voters?”