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Legislative Hearing Set On Record High Calif. Gas Prices

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(credit: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

Election Returns
Election 2012

SACRAMENTO (AP) — A state senator called for a legislative hearing regarding California’s oil refineries after Chevron announced that a unit at its Richmond refinery will remain closed until next year.

Sen. Mark Leno said Wednesday that recent price spikes and shortages “indicate serious problems” with the state’s 15 refineries. The San Francisco Democrat is chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Bay Area Transportation.

The committee will meet next month to consider the safety and reliability of California’s gasoline production system and how it affects prices and the economy.

Leno says refineries have no incentive to keep their operations going because oil companies’ profits increase whenever there is a disruption in supply.

A fire at Chevron’s Richmond refinery in August contributed to a spike that pushed gas prices near $5 a gallon.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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