April 12, 2024

Gallego Pushes Oil Refineries for Answers on Rising Gas Prices

In 11 letters to oil refineries that do business in Arizona, Rep. Gallego presses the companies to explain to everyday Arizonans why gas prices keep rising

WASHINGTONRep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-03) sent letters to the 11 oil refineries from which the Arizona Department of Agriculture’s Weights and Measures Services Division sources the state’s unique blend of Cleaner Burning Gasoline, pushing the refineries to explain to Arizonans, now and in the future, why gas prices have risen—before they see the jump at the pump.

“Across Phoenix, gas prices have risen by as much as 50 cents per gallon. This increase over the last month means Arizonans now pay more than $4 at the pump. According to industry leaders, this spike has been attributed to limited capacity in California refineries due to maintenance. However, for families in Arizona, this is an insufficient explanation that does nothing to help their budgets,” Gallego writes.

Parts of Arizona, including Maricopa County, use what is known as a Cleaner Burning Gas (CBG), a specific gasoline blend to mitigate air pollution. However, due to increased summer temperatures, Arizonans in Maricopa County must use a different “summer blend” to respond to these temperature changes.

Refineries in California and Texas produce Arizona’s CBG blend, and because the state’s blend is unique and in limited supply, supply shocks significantly raise gas prices in Arizona.

To ensure Arizonans get the answers they deserve, now and in the future, Rep. Gallego asked the following questions:

  • Are your refineries in California currently undergoing any maintenance? If so, is it planned or emergency maintenance?
  • When do you anticipate having full capacity to produce Maricopa County’s Cleaner Burning Gas formula?
  • Do you anticipate any maintenance or capacity issues that will limit Arizona CBG production in the immediate future?
  • Since we know formula changes are needed every spring and fall, what steps are you taking to mitigate potential issues with these transitions over the next year?

Gallego concludes the letter by imploring these refineries to do right by Arizonans.

“Arizona families and businesses should not have to pay significantly more at the pump than the rest of the country. I request your assistance in guaranteeing adequate supply to bring costs down for Arizonans,” he writes.

Click the link below to read the letters Rep. Gallego sent to refineries:

Rep. Gallego has repeatedly pushed to lower gas prices for hardworking Arizonans. One month ago, Rep. Gallego called on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan to work together with Arizona leaders to proactively grant waivers and address supply challenges that could lead to higher gas prices.

In October last year, he held a call with representatives from Kinder Morgan, the operator of the Santa Fe Petroleum Pipeline system, which includes the two lines that provide gas to Maricopa County. And in April 2023, he urged President Biden and his administration to do everything in his authority to address the rising gas prices affecting Arizona families, businesses, and communities.