Lawmakers Want Investigation On High Gas Prices
Three House Democrats have sent a letter to U.S Attorney General Eric Holder to investigation high gas prices in the state, which some lawmakers say are unfair to Alaskans.
Alaskans are feeling the pinch at the pump, once again, after gas prices rose six cents overnight at several gas stations across Anchorage.
“That’s the whole thing about this drilling, drilling, drilling, what good is it to drill and get more oil if we’re not going to use it for ourselves,” said, Donald Amrhein, a trucker from Anchorage.
The question of why prices are so high is one Alaskan lawmakers have been trying to answer for years.
“Doesn’t make sense, and I think the public deserves that response,” said Rep. Mia Costello, D-Anchorage.
A response three Alaska House Democrats, including Rep. Pete Petersen, D-Anchorage, are now trying to get from U.S Attorney General Eric Holder. They want the federal government to step in and investigate Alaska's high gas prices.
“We’re hoping that he's going to do an investigation and that he may be able to get the refineries to provide additional information beyond what has been provided so far,” he said.
Steve Pratt, a local energy economist, says he has a solution to the rising gas prices; in fact, it’s a recommendation he proposed several years ago. Pratt suggested the State buy future oil now at a locked price for several years, which he says would allow prices to increase slowly for customers, rather than all at once.
“If we do that we may be able to save some agony for school districts, for communities, for community centers, and for fuel in Rural Alaska,” he said.
Pratt’s recommendation failed to become a reality after minimal support from lawmakers in Juneau. Representative Les Gara, D-Anchorage, says he introduced legislation this session which addresses the manner in which refineries pass costs to the consumer, the bill was tabled until next session.