Satire or serious? Democratic Alaskan senators ask Republican attorney general to investigate high fuel prices


It reads like a story from the satirical news site Babylon Beewith a headline that might say, “Democrats Can’t Understand Why Oil Shutdown Driven High Prices.”

On Thursday, Anchorage Sen. Bill Wielechowski and Fairbanks Sen. Scott Kawasaki released their latest formal notice to Alaska Attorney General Treg Taylor urging him to investigate the incident. they just found out: gas prices are high again. They have a theory that Alaskan gas sellers are price gouging.

“Gasoline prices in Alaska have climbed more than 76 cents per gallon in the past month and are now $1.62 above the national average. The oil is sourced from Alaska and is primarily refined in Alaska and there’s no rational reason for that. That’s why yesterday I joined Senator Scott Kawasaki in calling on the Attorney General to investigate this matter to prevent Alaskans from being ripped off at the pumps “, wrote Wielechowski.

In fact, Alaska’s refineries have the capacity to refine approximately 164,000 barrels of crude oil per calendar day, while the state pumps about 475,000 barrels per day into the Trans Alaska Pipeline System, according to the Energy Information Agency.

Prices in Alaska for unleaded averaged $5.429 per gallon on Friday, according to AAA. But the price in California is much higher – $6.355, and drivers in Washington state pay an average of $5.40 per gallon. Gasoline taxes in these states are much higher than in Alaska.

The two senators claim, without evidence, that prices in the Lower 48 have stabilized.

The head of oil analysis at said the dramatic increase on the West Coast is due to refinery maintenance issues.

“A series of planned and unplanned maintenance issues at refineries has significantly tightened fuel supplies in California,” said Doug Shupe, corporate communications manager for the Automobile Club of Southern California, as reported. the San Diego weather. West Coast fuel inventories are also at their lowest level in about a decade, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Until West Coast refineries are fully operational again, supply will be tight and will lead to price volatility at the pump,” he said.

In Alaska, oil production is near a 40-year low, due to progressive federal anti-oil policies that have made it difficult for companies to operate in the Arctic. But the two Democrats also seemed unaware that the Democratic Party and its environmentalist surrogates had a role to play in the drop in production.

“Alaskans are being ripped off, and we need to find out why. Gasoline prices rose more than a dollar last week in Anchorage for no apparent reason. It makes absolutely no sense – the oil comes from Alaska and is refined in Alaska,” Sen. Wielechowski said. “It is our duty and the administration’s duty to Alaskans to determine why this is the case, find solutions and work together to reduce costs. Too much of Alaskans’ money goes to fuel instead of food on the table.

“Alaskans have long seen the high prices of gasoline and heating oil, even with a pipeline in our backyard. We need answers, and we need them now to help ease the financial burden too many Alaskans are facing this winter. Knowledge is power and both branches of government need this information to make informed decisions on behalf of all Alaskans,” Senator Kawasaki said.

“There are no apparent domestic or international market forces that would justify such disparate prices in Alaska. While Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last February caused a temporary spike in crude oil prices and of refined fuels, prices have stabilized across most of the country, but Alaskan prices remain abnormally high.Given the heavy financial burden that high fuel prices place on Alaskan families, it It is important that we get to the bottom of this serious concern and identify any action that can be taken to address these excessive prices.With this investigation, the Department should determine the cause of the exorbitant prices, if consumer protection laws have been violated and what steps the state can take to address this crisis,” the two Democrats wrote.

Gas prices have risen at an alarming rate across the country, in part due to the Biden administration shutting down domestic production as it tries to appease its eco-alarmist base, and in part because that Russian President Vladimir Putin took advantage of a weak American president and destabilized Eastern Europe and the world when he had the chance. Last week, explosions ripped through a major gas pipeline linking Russia to Europe, in an act that one might believe was sabotage. This week, a bridge to Crimea blew up. Power plants are under threat in Ukraine. Gas prices in Europe are likely to skyrocket this winter due to the war in Ukraine, and other fuels will follow. People around the world are waking up to the reality of what a winter of high fuel prices could mean, and Democrats Wielechowski and Kawasaki seem to have gotten the memo.

Over the past six months, the Biden administration has drained one million barrels of oil a day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an effort to slow rising prices. It worked for a while, but world events caught up with his strategy and prices are now climbing rapidly.

Also last week, OPEC and Russia agreed to cut production to push up oil prices.


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