A state senator says Alaska oil refineries have been gouging Alaskans at the gas pump for more than a year, reaping profit margins unparalleled to ones in the Lower 48, and he is once again calling for government to step in.
The state's oil refineries are making far more profit on their gasoline as the national average, according to the report released Wednesday by Sen. Bill Wielechowski and authored by the nonpartisan Legislative Research Services Division.
But not everyone -- including the refineries and at least one legislator -- agrees with Wielechowski's conclusions, calling them an oversimplification of complicated market forces unique to Alaska.
Wielechowski, an Anchorage Democrat, said the costs at the pump are "having a huge impact on Alaskans. ... So we can put more money and profit into the pockets of the refineries."
He estimates that for every gallon Alaskans pump into their cars, they are paying 54 cents on average more to the refineries than what Lower 48 consumers pay. It has cost Alaskans at least $189 million in excess charges since Alaska gasoline prices soared above U.S. prices in 2008, he estimates.
To read the complete article, visit www.adn.com.