High Oil Prices Pump Up Concern

By Charlie Feder

Monday, July 29, 2013

Summer is under way, with its barbecues, parades, beach trips – and higher gas prices. And Angelenos recently found themselves paying a dizzying 11 cents more for every gallon – in an area that already ranks among the top five in the nation for high gas prices.

As a business owner who operates an all-natural gas fleet, we will avoid the fluctuations of summer gas prices, but our customers will feel the impacts.

Meanwhile, with $44 billion in profits last year, the oil companies’ grip on the industry affects our personal savings and business operations, and the nation’s economy. To be sure, gas prices rise and fall for many reasons, but one dangerous constant is that here in California, in particular, large oil companies are increasingly consolidated, reducing competition and generating concerns that consumers have ever-fewer defenses.

Lawmaker proposes office to investigate possible gas-price fixing

Think you are being ripped off at the gas pump?

One California lawmaker wants to give the public a place to contact with complaints of price manipulation or other shenanigans.

Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) has proposed creation of an Office of Fuel Price Investigation and Manipulation Prevention at the California Energy Commission.

Leno said the new office would develop anti-fuel price manipulation standards, investigate potential incidents of illegal activity and recommend ways to reduce the volatility of gas prices in California, which last year saw some stations charge $5 per gallon.

California Energy Commission awards more than $5.5M for green transportation

The California Energy Commissionannounced yesterday, March 20, 2013, that it has approved $5,580,773 for clean-energy transportation projects in California. The projects include biofuels production and those related to reducing emissions from trucks.

If the projects are successful, they should help reduce transportation sector emissions which are the largest component of air pollution in Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley. Those emissions significantly contribute to the area having some of the worst air quality in the United States.