Cantwell Asking FTC to Investigate Washington Gas Prices
SEATTLE (AP) -- U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell is asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate why Washington state gas prices increased to near-record levels in May, even as world oil and national average gas prices declined.
In a letter sent Thursday, the Washington Democrat said average Washington gas prices are only eight cents lower than the previous record high of $4.35, set in July 2008, when oil was trading at almost $150 per barrel. The price of crude oil dropped below $85 a barrel Thursday.
Cantwell's letter referred to a McCullough Research report that she says found Washington state gas prices should have fallen to $3.51 per gallon if prices had followed supply costs.
In late May, Gov. Chris Gregoire told the state Department of Commerce to monitor rising gas prices in the state and asked the agency to recommend what actions can be taken to help reduce costs to drivers.