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Santa Monica, CA -- The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights applauded the move today by California Attorney General Bill Lockyer to subpoena oil company executives and investigate gasoline price gouging allegations.

Yesterday FTCR issued a report finding oil company profiteering caused the recent gasoline price spikes in California. The study by petroleum industry analyst Tim Hamilton showed, for example, that from January 17th to April 18th, 2005 gasoline prices jumped 65 cents per gallon and refiner profits rose by 61 cents per gallon.
Click here to download and read the report.

"The Lockyer investigation should put oil industry executives on notice that they are going to have to answer tough questions about their role if the price of gasoline rises more than ten percent above pre-Katrina prices or above approximately $3.10 per gallon," said FTCR president Jamie Court, who served with Hamilton on the Attorney General's Gasoline Pricing Taskforce. "The Attorney General should make clear that if oil companies raise wholesale gasoline prices without cause then the companies will be prosecuted for gouging consumers at the pump since station owners have very little choice over how much they can charge. The Attorney General should also make key evidence from the investigation public, including testimony from oil company executives."

FTCR is a nonpartisan, nonprofit consumer group. FTCR and petroleum analyst Tim Hamilton have collaborated on numerous investigations into the causes and effects of price spikes including the Midwest run-up of 2000 and price spikes or refinery closures in California (2002, 2003, 2004). Click here for more information on these studies.

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