More heat—market and political—looms for refiners

The US gasoline market will heat up for refiners this year—and not just in terms of gasoline prices and margins. US refiners face the prospect of spiking gasoline prices and slumping crude oil prices being a two-edged sword. On the one hand, it is good news for long-suffering US refiners in terms of improved margins; on the other hand, it's bad news in the form of the political heat refiners will draw when consumers see crude oil prices declining but gasoline prices not fully following down in lockstep. That's already happening in California (surprise).California's preemptive strikeGov. Gray Davis on Apr. 2 called on the California Energy Commission to continue to invest...

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