Bay Area oil refineries in Richmond and Martinez are to blame for the spike in gasoline prices in May and October, according to a report released in Washington on Thursday.
Both Royal Dutch Shell in Martinez and Chevron in Richmond claimed to be out of service during periods in May and October. Gas prices spiked accordingly. But environmental research reveals both refineries were producing gasoline at full capacity, contrary to what the public was told, according to McClatchy newspapers.
Environmental documents reveal nitrogen oxide emissions -- evidence of gasoline production -- were normal during both periods, the newspaper chain reported.
Gasoline inventories were building during "a time in which West Coast motorists" were paying "at least 50 cents more per gallon than the national average," the newspaper reported.
Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., will ask the Justice Department and the Obama Administration to investigate the price-spiking.