In the weeks leading up to the Labor Day holiday, New Yorkers from Long Island to Buffalo were again hit with outrageously high gas prices at the pump, only to see the prices come back to earth during the autumn. For too many summers and falls, we have seen this disturbing trend play out.
Now to add insult to injury, the third quarter earnings for the big oil companies have come in and to no one's surprise, profits have risen dramatically. Chevron Texaco profits quadrupled. Exxon Mobil enjoyed a 38 percent increase and BP and Shell are posting some of the biggest quarterly profits in their history.
These enormous profit margins raise legitimate questions about whether this state's drivers and businesses are getting gouged. The oil industry can point to numerous reasons as to why our prices are high, but it cannot be mere coincidence that profits are increasing at the same time that prices at the pump are skyrocketing.
Thousands of my constituents have joined me in calling upon the Federal Trade Commission and its Chairman, Timothy J. Muris to immediately commence a formal investigation into the soaring gas prices in New York State and throughout the United States. Chairman Muris has chosen not to respond, even in a perfunctory manner to our request.
With the winter heating season quickly approaching and the annual price spike that accompanies it, I plan to continue the fight to seek the answers we deserve. I have enlisted the aid of my colleagues in state government and our federal representatives to put a stop to artificially high fuel prices.
The American consumer has been victimized for too long.
NY State Senator Carl L. Marcellino