Blast 'em

This Blast 'em blog is going to shine a much needed bright light on legislative shanigans. We will provide details of the wrong doing, give names of the doer, and describe the ramifications to the public. Initially we will focus primarily on consumer issues.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Gas Cap Update

Yesterday’s Gas Cap Conference Committee hearing was interesting from my point of view. Before the hearing began House Speaker Calvin Say and Senate President Bobby Bunda came in a sat close to the front table. This is an unusual event and told me that a compromise was in the wind and they could take credit for solving the impasse. Didn’t happen. We are no closer to a meeting of the minds between the House and Senate than we were in the first conference committee hearing.

Senator Ron Menor made a major concession to the house which I thought would end the impasse. Unfortunately, the House is worried that Menor’s pricing formula will not be fair to the oil companies. Oh, and consumers also. Rep. Joe Souki claims that our unique market situation, i.e. isolated, mid-Pacific location and small population makes it impossible to control prices. He thinks we should allow market conditions set prices and this will be fair to all involved. He doesn’t remember that this is the situation we had before the gas cap and it allowed the oil companies to legally steal from consumers. Souki sounded like he was reading a Chevron press release.

Meanwhile, on the mainland gas prices have been on a mad, run up for the past few weeks. Oil companies claim this is caused by a lack of refinery capacity, like this is our fault. However, you may remember that the oil companies have been buying up small refineries and closing them down “because they are not efficient”. Meanwhile oil company profits are sky- rocketing to unprecedented heights!

Representative Souki has another angle that he thinks sounds good. “just give us pricing transparency and prices will come down”. Can anyone tell me when anyone outside the Oil Industry knew how they priced their products? I never met anyone who knew.

Whatever Say’s and Bunda’s reason was for being at the hearing is anyone’s guess. All I know is that another hearing is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. today and if agreement is not reached by midnight tomorrow, the Gas Cap stays in effect, as is! It’s now perfect but it is better than we had without it.

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