Schumer Demands Probe Of Oil Refiners’ Profits

NEW YORK (WCBS 880/AP) — New York’s Senator Charles Schumer wants to know why New York gas prices are still so high, saying he suspects prices are being artificially inflated.

“There’s ample evidence that the nation’s oil refiners might be engaging in price-fixing,” he said Sunday at a gas station on Manhattan’s west side.

WCBS 880’s Ginny Kosola reports: Schumer Wants To Know If Oil Refiners Are Manipulating Gas Prices

Schumer wants to know if refiners have cut back on gasoline stockpiles to decrease supply and inflate the price of gas at the pump.

He said refiners’ profits have more than doubled since last year. Meanwhile, the price of unleaded gas went up by almost 12 percent in just the two weeks ending May 6, topping $4 a gallon in New York.

“I’m calling on the Federal Trade Commission to launch an immediate investigation as to whether refiners are engaging in illegal practices that could be costing drivers dearly at the pump,” he said. “Because there are fewer refiners than there used to be, they bought up a lot of the other ones, it’s a lot easier for them to fix prices.”

He did not name any companies, but said a probe should examine all of them, including the biggest five: Exxon Mobil, Shell Oil, BP, Chevron and ConocoPhillips.

What do you think? Let us know in our comments section below.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More from Ginny Kosola
  • boris

    Hi, everyone! what’s going on?

  • Grady O'Brien Karautler

    We created the suburbs and now we all pay for the fact that
    one has to take the car everywhere ,also people in the city are
    using more home delivery such as Fresh Direct ,UPS & Fed EX to
    do the work instead of walking to stores.
    It’s a mess and getting worse,still have very cheap gas here as
    compared to the EU .

  • Mark Land

    quit playing the oil companies bs, the price is manipulated period. big oil started this in 74 with holding the tankers offshore to drive prices up, and they are ruining our lives. time to nationalize as a matter of national security.

  • Curts Jones

    Why are prices high…….a few quick reasons. 1. Our federal and state government blocks drilling, blocks new refineries, shuns coal mining, shuns natural gas fracking, blocks offshore drilling, is against nuclear. Our policy is to complain to foreign exporters that they should drill more and lower their price. 2. When our President derided Exxon for their huge profit recently….. why didn’t reporters raise the issue that……while Exxon makes 8 cents profit for every gallon of gas sold…..the Federal Govt. takes 18 cents in tax per gallon and the NY State takes 47 cents per gallon…… SO WHO IS DRIVING UP THE PRICE,

    • Mark Land

      you must be an oil company sl**

    • Mark Land

      your profit numbers are in error, try 15 trillion last year; oh boy at 8 cents a gallon, who are you IRS?

    • Leonard Peracchio

      in the 2000’s the same inepts in Cingress of which Schmuckie Schumer is apart of kept saying that it takes at least 10 years to get American oil to the refineries If they allowed DRILLING… Well here we are 11 yeras later .. Obama and Salazar in all understandable Ineptness have suspended oil drilling, shale extractions and as a result we are importing more oil from sworn Enemies while China and Indian Demands are fueling oil price incrases… So Chuck the SCHMUCK investigate Yourself and Libturd Loons and quit looking for Headlimes… RETIRE and do us a big Favoir… Stay HOME!

    • Leonard Peracchio

      OUR INEPTS IN DC!!!! That is who is driving UP the prices!!!

  • vdv

    In addition to investigating oil refineries, maybe you should also look into the impact on prices with regards to state and federal taxes, as well as EPA regulations

  • Griffing

    Well, one of the reasons there’s fewer refineries is because we haven;t built a domestic refinery since the mid-70’s. Big Oil and speculators realized there was more money and less overhead bringing in foreign oil. But any maverick politician who thinks the FTC will get anywhere investigating the obsessive profits made at the pump will run into a Washington brick wall.

    Sometime ago politicians realized that making deals with Big Business in general was the easiest way to get into voters pockets… not taxes. Taxes are unpopular and raising them can lose elections; now the billions from voters needed to build the newer and bigger federal government is easier than ever for politicians to get their hands on, and they can blame the high cost of living on Big Business and Capitalism.

  • jAMES

    This tool..hel a press conference every week in 2008 when gas was last over $4.00 a gallon..what did he do then…nothing except hold press will be the same garbage from this elitist….



  • bcaro

    Senator Schumer doesn’t care about the average person. If he did, why did he let crude oil and gasoline markets become fully electronic? I’ll tell you why, so his fat cat Wall Street friends/contributors can manipulate the energy markets for their profit.

    Not only did this help The Goldman Sachs and the others, it allowed them to lay off THOUSANDS of workers in order to help Goldmans bottom line.

    Senator, you have a chance to CREATE thousands of jobs by turning off the electronic energy markets and returning to the days when people and not computers traded.

    Crude oil use to be $30 a barrel before they went electronic.Its now over $100. Think about it folks!

  • Politics --- Whatever

    American’s are a bunch of lazy fools. I’m sad to say that because we sit back and do nothing. I’ve seen pro-smokers protesting the non-smoking ban at beaches, but we are not protesting for the things that matter most. Unfortunately it’s our own fault. We elect people that could public interests with political clout. Welcome to America. Sorry so say, but it’s true. When it comes to our own voice, we stay silent because we be believe in a system of money hungry people to take care of us.

    • badman


  • Linda

    Geez, did he just wake up or what ? They all jump on the band-wagon when they want to get re-elected. Do they really think we believe them. LOL.

  • stoppdrinkingthekoolaid

    Come on people………THINK!!! Do you really believe that Schmuck Schumer is looking out for YOUR welfare???? His mission is the same as most all politicians……….TO GET RE-ELECTED!!!! Gov’t knows exactly why gas/oil prices are high and with Obama’s new proposed legislation of further restrictions and more taxes to the oil companies, you can look forward to even HIGHER prices if not rationing in the future!!! The USA sits on more oil than we could need for decades but because of Gov’ts idiotic pandering to special interests such as the ecoterrorists, we buy most of our oil from people who want to kill us. Schumer is the prize of the lot!!! Who keeps voting this moron back in office!!!!!!

  • mud roy

    Schumer and the rest of his cronies need to be investigated. H is just throwing the heat off on the oil business so we won’t look into his assets. They(the congress) are the biggest thieves in this country!

    • Rick

      AMEN Brother!

  • Joemama

    Thanks for the lip service Chuck.

  • Bob

    Sit down and shut up Senator Schumer.

  • scott

    He is the only democrat i ever voted for since he finally got his head out of hillaries ass.

  • Jeffrey Pasternack


  • ChesterDarlingtonIII

    Average annual currency exchange rate for the Japanese Yen 2001=121.52
    Current exchange rate=80.77
    Average annual currency exchange rate for the Euro 2001=1.12
    Current exchange rate=.69
    Average annual currency exchange rate for the Canadian Dollar 2001=1.55
    Current exchange rate=.97
    Average annual currency exchange rate for the Australian Dollar 2001=1.94
    Current exchange rate=.93

    I’m sure the oil companies and refineries are padding their pockets. But bad national fiscal policy has caused the US dollar to collapse. Losing 33-50% of its value against other major world currencies in the last decade. By far the single greatest contributor to the increase at the pump.

    Many economists estimate a 1% depreciation of the dollar is equal to a 1.3% increase in the dollar price of oil. A 40% depreciation over the last decade would equal a 52% increase in the price of oil. Then add in inflation, which over the last decade has totaled about 25%.

    Couple that with the FED basically giving away free money for the last few years and you have a crisis at the pump. We could certainly do better at a federal level.

  • rdean

    If he is looking into shorting stockpiles to boost prices, he needs to look into everything ever made. As a previous reply noted, he’s playing populist pollitics for donations. It’s the flavor of the month to pick on the oil companies.

  • Paul Kohloff

    drill baby drill

  • David

    Never mind that the gas taxes are probably around 50%.

    • Madison

      I think it’s 70 cents on a gallon (tax)

  • roxanne

    Why doesn”t Schumern just shut up and sit down for a change? He is an embarrasment for NY.

  • John Times

    Senator Schumer is the only senator represents not only people from NY, but all people in US. Sentor Schumer, please keep fighting for poor people. We must prosecute the CEO of oil companies, PERIOD. Gas price raised within 24 hours of crude oil price increase, while the price at the pump takes more than a week.
    These CEOs make multi-million dollars, while poor people are hunger.

  • mott

    He’s looking for a ” campaign donation. “

  • TheyR Crooks

    And how is this going to help? the refiners will deny it and it not like i am or any consumer is going tot get a refund. So as far as i am concerned, they got over ONCE AGAIN!!

  • cbs4game

    I am a Marxist and a communist radical. I believe in the Revolution. I work for Channel 4 in Miami as a webmaster. Viva Fidel.

  • Michael Haronoff

    This is the only explanation as to where the disconnect between oil and gas prices come. There is a fix and most of the senate/house/commissions/president’s office know it, but they depend so much on oil industry for funding that decide to ignore the issue.

  • William Sinclair

    End the deficit. Return to the truly progressive income tax of the Eisenhower years. America was a better place. Could be again.

  • William Sinclair

    Nationalize the oil industry. Norway did and shared the wealth with its citizens.

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