The spring scare over $5 per gallon gas has evaporated. Gas prices for the most part are falling around the country. The average price per gallon in the U.S. is $3.53. And yet, in some West Coast cities, prices still hover above $4 per gallon.
What gives? The official line is that oil refineries on the West Coast aren't pumping out enough gas due to repair work. One refinery in Washington state actually closed down following a February fire. It's since reopened, according to the Alaska Dispatch.
Not everyone's buying this excuse, however. The research of one energy consultant is implying that West Coast refineries used the BP fire as an excuse to scale back production and artificially inflate gas prices, according to the Seattle Times. Last week, Washington Senator Maria Cantwell (D) cited his work in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission calling on them to investigate why her area has experienced such high retail gas prices in the past month, The News Tribune reports. She believes that refineries are colluding to keep prices high, a charge denied by refiners.
Whatever the reason, in some cities, particularly on the West Coast, prices are exceeding $4 a gallon. Here's a list of a few: