to a story in the New York Times, a Senate subcommittee investigation
found that some oil companies reduce supplies when markets are
tight to force up prices and profits.
Permanent Investigations Subcommittee reportedly found that
manipulation of fuel supplies aggravated tight fuel markets,
spiking fuel prices, especially in the Midwest.
Levin (D-MI), subcommittee chairman, said the report found that
"in a number of instances, refiners have sought to increase
prices by reducing supplies." In addition, he said the
investigation "documents the actions by major oil companies
to keep supplies tight and inventories low in order to increase
prices and maximize profits."
spokesman said the Senate panel's report was still being reviewed.
A hearing on the report is planned Tuesday, including testimony
from oil industry representatives.
investigation was made public Monday, the weekly retail on-highway
diesel prices released by the Energy Department show the national
average cost of diesel remained relatively unchanged from last
week at $1.30 per gallon.
prices nationally continue to be found in California. Diesel
there is $1.426 per gallon on average. The lowest average prices
are in the Lower Atlantic region. Fuel there is $1.263 per gallon.
The remaining regions' price per gallon is as follows: East
Coast, $1.307; New England, $1.391; Central Atlantic, $1.39;
Midwest, $1.281; Gulf Coast, $1.271; Rocky Mountain, $1.356;
and West Coast, $1.39, respectively.