Nothing We Can Do About Those Prices, Says OPEC

It's not us, it's those stingy refiners
By Sam Gale Rosen,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2007 8:47 AM CDT
Using real horse power to get around, an Amish buggy makes its way through Middlefield, Ohio, unconcerned about the rising gas prices on Tuesday, May 22, 2007. Oil prices fell Wednesday, May 23, 2007...   (Associated Press)

(Newser) – Gas prices are soaring, but OPEC says that there's nothing it can do. Historically, the cartel has made big efforts to increase production when prices spike, but not his time, the Wall Street Journal reports. Members of OPEC say that there's plenty of crude being pumped; instead, the price increases stem from a tight refining industry.

OPEC members complain that US refining margins have soared in recent years, until they're three times higher than mark-ups other markets; while crude-oil prices have risen 5.1% this year, gas prices have surged 47%. Refiners counter that a cut in oil output by OPEC last fall hasresulted in the higher prices at the pump.