Santa Monica, CA — The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) said today that the agreement between California’s Attorney General and Shell Oil to keep open the Bakersfield refinery six months longer to find a buyer is a major victory for consumers and should serve as an example for regulators seeking to take oil companies to task.
FTCR has worked with whistleblowers to reveal internal Shell documents showing the facility was highly profitable and Shell was closing the refinery to artificially reduce the gasoline supply. For more information, click here to visit the energy page on our website.
“Attorney General Lockyer, Senator Boxer and Senator Wyden deserve the credit for taking seriously documents and reports from whistleblowers that the only reason Shell was closing Bakersfield was to drive up the price of gasoline,” said Jamie Court, FTCR president and author of Corporateering. “Saving 2% of the state’s conventional gasoline supply and 6% of its diesel supply in the tightest gasoline market in history is a huge public victory and today’s announcement shows Shell is serious about selling the refinery. It is a sad testament to the anti-competitive nature of the gasoline market, however, that it took regulators, legislators, whistleblowers and consumer groups to force an oil company to sell a refinery for over one hundred million dollars, rather than demolish it. Hopefully regulators and policymakers around the nation will now realize that holding oil companies accountable for their statements and their numbers can pressure them to change their ways. The artificial reduction of refining capacity in the United States by oil companies is the major driver of price spikes at the pump and this victory shows regulators, legislators and consumer groups working together can fight Big Oil.”
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