Viewpoints: Bill focuses on gas price manipulation

Screen shot 2013-09-03 at 5.28.45 PM By Robert McCullough, The Sac Bee
August 31, 2013

California, we have a fuel problem.

Over the past two years, California gas prices have continued to soar, sparking some of the highest prices in the nation.

Oil companies are quick to point the finger at supply and demand, oil markets or the state’s clean air laws as causes for recent spikes, but don’t be fooled. These reasons merely serve as smokescreens to a much larger problem facing consumers at the pump – potential price manipulation.

However, for those concerned about gasoline following the oil price spike over the past few days, there’s possible relief in sight.

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.