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Oil refiners are manipulating California gas prices, consumer advocates say

Oil refiners are manipulating California gas prices, consumer advocates say

Filling up at the pump is often painful in California, where drivers tend to pay more for gasoline than in most other states. Many industry watchers attribute the high fuel costs to unique forces — chiefly California's clean-burning gasoline formula — that have isolated the market and kept it tightly balanced between supply and demand. But some consumer advocates and politicians allege that price manipulation by oil refiners is to blame. This year, price fluctuations were especially surprising. The price of crude oil began falling last summer, with pump prices following. In February, Tesoro Corp. idled its Northern California refinery in Martinez after a nationwide...

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