Some American oil companies
have deliberately driven up fuel prices by cutting back on the amount they
That information comes from a previously undisclosed Federal
Trade Commission document, according to The Kansas City Star.
The FTC document alleges that some oil companies have
permanently shut down older refineries, even when competitors offered to buy
them at a good price. It also charges that oil companies controlled refining
capacity by sharing information – in one case by a secret memo marked “Destroy
About 175 U.S. refineries have closed in the past 25 years.
Today, the country’s total refining capacity is almost 10
percent lower than in 1981. In the same period, demand for gasoline has
increased almost 40 percent.