Chuck Schumer really is a piece of shit
This is not the first time he's blathered about this.
Actually, shutting refineries during late spring is not new. It happens every year. Refineries must switch over to "summer blend" gasoline, which they do so damn well and so transparently that most people don't realize it. Summer gasoline must be less volatile (i.e. it can't evaporate as easily) because of the greater temperatures. It must also meet additional "environment-friendly" requirements, such as producing less smog. So if anyone's to blame for higher gas prices in warmer weather, it's the feds and their God-damned EPA. The same feds so graciously allowed one, one refinery to be built in 2008. The last refinery before that: built in 1977.
Why don't oil companies simply produce the same warmer-weather blends all year round? Because colder-weather blends are cheaper, thus people will buy more and maximize profits. If oil companies really were trying to "gouge" via higher prices, they would never produce this blend at all. The fact is that, with all the oil companies competing, it's in any given company's best interest to always provide the best blend at the lowest possible price. And that's what they're doing at any given time. A particular company could try producing summer blend year-round, but they've all calculated that it's more efficient to shut refineries temporarily at appropriate seasons to switch blends.
There is so much tripe again about "oil company profits," though nobody was crying a decade ago, or especially two years ago, when oil was cheap and profits were low. Nothing is preventing these idiots from partaking in the profits by investing in these companies who provide us with a valuable product. Any Joe can own shares of Exxon-Mobil or whoever, directly or through a simple mutual fund. (Disclosure: I don't.)
I wonder: has Schumer double-checked his personal investments to make sure he has no shares of these evil companies he rails against?