Senators push for investigation into oil refineries & spike in gas prices

LEWISTON, ID - Six Democratic senators from the West Coast are pushing the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the role oil refineries played in recent spikes in the cost of gasoline.

The senators are asking the DOJ to coordinate with all federal agencies in the investigation into what they see as inconsistencies in refinery data. Some believe those inconsistencies indicate that oil may have been produced after shutdowns were announced.

"Our simple question is, were these guys actually producing oil when they told us they were down for maintenance," said U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington. "Did they create an artificial shortage to create the perception that gas prices should be going up when in reality there was enough supply and they should have been more stable."

If the DOJ decides to investigate and determines there was a false sense of shortage, a $1 million fine per day for every infraction will be implemented. Cantwell said it's time to properly police the refineries and protect consumers.