California A.G. issues subpoenas to oil refiners in gas-price probe

California State Attorney General Kamala Harris’ Office has confirmed that subpoenas have been issued to oil refiners as part of its investigation into unusually high gasoline prices in the state during last year.

Motorists in the Golden State paid as much as $1.50 more per gallon of gasoline than motorists in other parts of the United States since last summer.

Gordon Schremp, a senior fuels analyst for the California Energy Commission (CEC), said the A.G. Office issued the subpoenas to get information on the oil refineries’ imports and exports of the fuel.

Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the president of the Western States Petroleum Association, claimed that her association believes that its members did nothing wrong. But, she also assured that they would fully cooperate with any federal or state investigation into the state’s gasoline prices.

When asked for a comment, Reheis-Boyd said, “The petroleum industry is one of the most heavily regulated and closely monitored industries nationwide. Over the past several decades, numerous investigations and expert market analysis have found no evidence of illegal activities or violation of anti-trust laws.”

The unusual surge in gasoline prices in California was largely driven by an explosion at the Exxon Mobil Torrance refinery in February 2015. The Torrance refinery alone accounts for 20 per cent of Southern California’s refined-gasoline capacity.