Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Gas price controls scrapped in Hawaii

They never learn...

The island state whose drivers pay the highest pump prices in the nation has given up on price caps after an eight-month, first-in-the- nation experiment. Some complained that the restrictions actually led to higher prices, because oil companies knew they could charge up to the maximum allowed.

"In a lot of people's minds, they thought the gas cap wasn't working," said Republican state Sen. Paul Whalen, a strong supporter of the price controls. "It was hard to generate lots of support for it because we're paying more than we ever were before."

Gas is particularly expensive in Hawaii because of high state taxes and because of the costs of transporting oil across the Pacific. Last fall, Hawaii became the only state to cap the cost of fuel to try to give some relief to motorists.

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