Casey Calls on the FTC to Investigate Summer-Blend Gas Shortage in Southwestern PA

WASHINGTON, DC – In light of increasing gas prices and concerns about a summer-blend gas shortage on the already high price of fuel, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today called on the Federal Trade Commission to immediately investigate the situation in order to identify the specific cause of the problem. 

“I request that the Federal Trade Commission investigate the activities surrounding the summer-blend shortage and report on the specific cause or causes of this occurrence. Additionally, it is important to know if any questionable business practices contributed to the shortage,” Senator Casey stated in the letter. “The people in southwestern Pennsylvania should not be placed in a situation that causes them to pay more at the pump so that others can acquire greater profits. I would appreciate an update on the status of FTC’s assessment.”

The letter continues: “The United States Congress and the FTC have an obligation to provide consumers with the assurance that whatever price they pay at the pump, they can be certain they aren't being taken for a ride.”

A copy of the letter is below:

Dear Chairman Leibowitz:

As gasoline prices continue to increase, Pennsylvanians in the southwestern corner of the state are particularly concerned about the potential impact of a summer-blend gas shortage on the already high price of fuel. Like these residents, I am also concerned about supply distributions, fuel shortages and their impacts.

Industry members attributed the recent delay in the delivery of summer-blend gas to disruptions in the Buckeye/Laurel pipeline and outages at eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey refineries.  This week, five of the nine gasoline terminals contracted in the region either completely lacked or has very low levels of summer-blend gas.  As the transition from one gas blend to the other occurs biannually, it is very important that those involved in supply distribution perform all the necessary actions to ensure a smooth transition.

For this reason, I request that the Federal Trade Commission investigate the activities surrounding the summer-blend shortage and report on the specific cause or causes of this occurrence. Additionally, it is important to know if any questionable business practices contributed to the shortage. The people in southwestern Pennsylvania should not be placed in a situation that causes them to pay more at the pump so that others can acquire greater profits. I would appreciate an update on the status of FTC’s assessment.

I look forward to working with you on this and on other gas price related issues. The United States Congress and the FTC have an obligation to provide consumers with the assurance that whatever price they pay at the pump, they can be certain they aren't being taken for a ride.

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.
United States Senator

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