Senators ask US Justice to probe Calif. gasoline price spikes

WASHINGTON Tue Nov 27, 2012 2:04pm EST

WASHINGTON Nov 27 (Reuters) - The Justice Department should investigate whether oil refineries falsely created a perception of a supply shortage in May and October, when West Coast gasoline prices spiked to record highs, six Democratic senators said on Tuesday.

The senators, who represent West Coast states, want the Justice Department to subpoena records from California refineries to see whether public reports of maintenance shutdowns were accurate. If not, the refineries could face fines.