JUDICIARY COMMITTEE STUDIES GASOLINE PRICING
Our Judiciary Committee has met several times in an effort to get answers about the pricing of gasoline. The Alaska Department of Law is also conducting an investigation to determine whether criminal conduct is occurring. We won’t have the results of the investigation until mid to late December. Meanwhile, our Judiciary Committee doesn’t have access to what the Department of Law has been learned so far, because the on-going investigation is confidential.
Today we heard from Tesoro, as well as the Senior Economist with Econ One Research. Unfortunately, all we got was a garden variety economics lesson on supply and demand - which every member of the committee has a reasonable layman’s knowledge of already. To be blunt, we didn’t learn much that we didn’t know already.
The Judiciary Chair was adamant during the committee hearing that Governor Palin demand Alaska’s gasoline people come to her office for a face-to-face explanation of what is going on - for her to ask why the delay in Alaska for price reductions, as compared to Outside? I recommended the Chair directly phone or write a letter to the governor, if he thinks she ought to request such meetings.
In the afternoon our Judiciary Committee took public testimony. No one was shy in expressing their thoughts. There was palpable anger expressed by those who testified about pricing of gasoline in Alaska. Some even demanded some variety of price controls. There was opinion expressed that a price “fix” could be worse - by unintended consequence - than the problem. More committee meetings are planned in a continuing quest for information we can act upon.