"One lawmaker is demanding answers from the CEOs of seven major oil companies," CNN's Christine Romans said to kick off an "In the Money" segment about oil prices.Ali Velshi and Romans welcomed Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich to the program on April 21, but neither offered substantial counterarguments to his anti-oil rants.
"We want to know if there is any kind of manipulation of the law of supply and demand that's resulting in very high fuel prices," Kucinich began.
His comments went unchallenged, though the current national gas average for regular unleaded is about four cents below the same time last year.Velshi admitted the media sound like a broken record on gas prices every year.
“We seem to go through this cycle – It’s springtime, gas prices go up. We have the same discussions about refining capacity and all of these things.”
Kucinich suggested that refining capacity is being manipulated by oil companies. "Are they contracting refinery capacity and driving up profits? I want to know about that," the Ohio congressman said.Velshi did not counter Kucinich's comment with the fact that government mandates cause an increase in spring gasoline prices as refineries are forced to switch from winter to summer fuel blends.The toughest question asked during the program was whether or not the EPA regulations prevent the building of new refineries.
“One of the things we always hear is that they can’t build refineries because the EPA doesn’t let anybody build refineries,” Velshi said. “What’s your, what, what – is that true?”
But when the congressman dismissed that idea, Velshi let it slide. "I'm not sure that that's true," replied Kucinich.