Proos calls for attorney general investigation into gas price jump

Senator John Proos

Senator John Proos

LANSING, Mich. Sen. John Proos is calling on Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette to open an investigation into the gas price jump that has hit Southwest Michigan over the past several days.

A British Petroleum (BP) oil refinery in Whiting, Indiana has reportedly experienced a “mechanical breakdown” and as a result, is passing on the higher expenses to local retailers and their customers.

“I am calling into question the approximately 80 cent increase in a matter of days that Southwest Michigan residents are being forced to pay at the pump,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “A single glitch at a regional plant is causing a drastic and sudden increase in gas prices when the 2015 average price of a barrel of crude oil is projected at $49.”

The federal Energy Information Administration recently lowered its 2015 forecast by $6 to a $49 per barrel average — a six-year low.

“As our state continues down the road of an economic comeback, we cannot allow the hard-working people of Southwest Michigan to be taken advantage of by artificially high gas prices,” Proos said. “For this reason, I am calling on Michigan’s attorney general to investigate the necessity of the price increase on our citizens.”

Gas prices are expected to spike in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin.

BP has said it could take about a month to fix the malfunction.

Attorney General Bill Schuette offers a Consumer Protection Division, which citizens can reach at 517-373-1140 or toll-free in Michigan at 1-877-765-8388. The mailing address is: Consumer Protection Division, P.O. Box 30213, Lansing, MI 48909.