2nd Gas Price Hearing Scheduled
October 21, 2008
(SitNews) - The Alaska State House Judiciary Committee will hold
its second hearing into the high prices of gasoline in Alaska
on Thursday, October 23rd from 9:30 a.m. till 4:00 p.m., at the
Anchorage Legislative Information Office. Interested Alaskans
around the state will be able to attend this public hearing at
their local Legislative Information Office (LIO).
"Alaskans are rightfully upset about the high prices they
are paying at the pump in comparison to the rest of the country,"
said Rep. Jay Ramras, R-Fairbanks, the committee's chairman.
"As of today, the national average for regular gasoline
is $2.92 per gallon. The average price in Alaska for a gallon
of regular gasoline is $3.89. The House Judiciary Committee will
continue looking into this price disparity and will address what
the legislature can do to effectively bring down the price of
gas at the pump.
"The committee determined at its first meeting that there
are the only two refineries producing gasoline in Alaska. Therefore,
the refineries effectively have a duopoly in this state. Additionally,
the Southeast communities receive their gasoline by barge and
their fuel is exceptionally high priced. Currently, Alaska has
no price-gouging statutes and Alaska's anti-trust laws only come
into effect when refiners are in collusion to set prices."
The State Attorney General's Office has a separate investigation
underway. The AG's office is able to access confidential and
propriety information that is unavailable to the legislature.
However, the legislature will continue to do its job and consider
statutory changes. "Hopefully, both branches of government
working together can bring some relief to Alaskans," added
Ramras. "The committee will press forward, holding monthly
meetings on this subject and use the public process, until the
price of gasoline achieves a re-coupling with the prices in the
Around the state, the public is encouraged to attend this hearing
at their local Legislative Information Office. Invited testimony
only will be taken at Thursday's meeting; however, public testimony
will be taken at the November meeting.
The public hearing will be
held Thursday, October 23rd from 9:30 a.m. till 4:00 p.m.
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REPRESENTATIVE JAY RAMRAS,
JUDICIARY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN
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