More on High Cost of Fuel

More on High Cost of Fuel

More on High Cost of Fuel. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.

The price of gasoline here on the west coast has been going up, even to the point where it is nearly 30 cents higher than the national average and U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell wanted some answers and put some important questions to two petroleum industry officials.

CANTWELL: Mr. Plaushin, in your testimony you mentioned the high degree of volatility due to refineries. Mr. Gilligan you cited reasons, but just as these shutdowns seem to be hitting the press, what do you think we need to do to get more transparency in the market?

Dan Gilligan, President, Petroleum Marketers Association of America replied.

GILLIGAN: We supported Senator Dorgan’s amendment in 2007 to try to get EIA more involved in communicating about refinery schedule maintenance and outages. You know, really it’s the unplanned outages that really tear up the market. I think in the upper Midwest there were two or three refineries that were down for maintenance, and generally that was understood. But then all of a sudden you had I think a serious problem at a BP refinery in Whiting, and then you had another refinery outage, all of a sudden you had a catastrophe on your hands.

Senator Cantwell was not moved by that.

CANTWELL: I mean, do you think the country would have stood for, if we had the Gulf implosion and everybody being shut down, ten other refineries saying “oh I had planned maintenance so I’m gonna go down.” Do you think we would have put up with that?

That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

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