Gasoline supplier threatens cutoff

Gasprices The consumer affairs commissioner has accused Hovensa, the St. Croix-based oil refining company, of saying it would stop selling gasoline in the islands if he persisted trying to put a lid on skyrocketing gas prices. 

Andrew Rutnik told a Senate committee hearing he hopes a district court judge would agree that his department has the authority regulate the gasoline companies, Esso Virgin Islands and Texaco Caribbean.  Rutnik, however, blamed the wholesalers, Esso and Texaco, for the high prices.

"If we can win, prices will lower again," he said, adding that Hovensa officials threatened to stop retailing in the VIs, the St. John Source reported.  At the extreme, that could mean no gasoline at service stations.

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