Gasoline station owners are not to blame for the sharp rise in fuel prices since the Persian Gulf crisis began, a spokesman for state Attorney General Robert Abrams said Friday.
In fact, said spokesman Edward Barbini, retailers for both gasoline and home heating oil are merely raising their prices to reflect higher prices charged by wholesalers.
"Yelling at the guy who's pumping the gas is futile, because our evidence shows that it's not his fault," Barbini said.
Abrams suspects that the oil companies, which the state cannot investigate, are to blame for the higher prices, Barbini said. Abrams said the U.S. Justice Department should continue to investigate whether oil companies artificially raised prices to take advantage of the gulf crisis.
The attorney general said his conclusion was based on a study of nine gasoline retailers and nine home heating oil retailers across the state.