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Alaska State Democrats to U.S. Attorney General: Investigate Alaska Gas Prices

Something's not right: Alaska is a major oil producer, yet Alaskans pay the most at the pump

JUNEAU - Today, Alaska Representatives Pete Petersen and Chris Tuck (both D-Anchorage), and Representative Scott Kawasaki (D-Fairbanks) sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asking that he investigate Alaskan fuel prices as part of his investigation of nationwide gasoline prices.  

"Alaska produces more oil than most countries, but Alaskans still pay more at the pump than anyone else in the U.S. Something's not right," said Rep. Petersen.  "Any investigation into high fuel prices should certainly include a hard look at the situation in Alaska."

Last week, Holder announced that he will conduct an investigation of gasoline prices in the United States.  Since 2008, Alaska has consistently had the highest gasoline prices in the nation.  According to a May 26 report from AAA, the average price for a gallon of gasoline in Alaska is $4.10, excluding state taxes.  The next highest state is Hawaii at $4.08, which has no oil production.

"In Fairbanks, the high cost of heating fuel is crippling," said Rep. Kawasaki. "We need to get to the bottom of this before Fairbanks families have to face another winter wondering if they'll be able to afford to heat their homes."   

The legislators included copies of reports by the Alaska attorney general, Legislative Research Service, and the House Judiciary Committee to give the attorney general information about Alaskan fuel prices.

"Lower prices for gas, diesel, and heating oil would greatly benefit Alaska's economy," said Rep. Chris Tuck (D-Anchorage).  "Alaskan families would feel relief from high gas prices, and businesses would have lower costs."

Representatives Tuck, Kawasaki, and Petersen have been working for years to lower fuel prices in Alaska.  This year, along with Rep. Les Gara (D-Anchorage), they introduced House Bill 25 to prohibit Alaskan oil refineries from charging excessive or exorbitant prices for gasoline, diesel, and heating oil.

Read the letter here.  The related Alaska reports are at the links below.

Alaska Attorney General: http://www.law.state.ak.us/pdf/press/2008GasolinePricingReport.pdf

Legislative Research:  http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_documents.asp?session=26&docid=2801

Alaska House Judiciary Committee: http://www.legis.state.ak.us/basis/get_documents.asp?session=26&docid=493

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