Gas Cap Changes Far Off? - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Gas Cap Changes Far Off?

House Energy Committee met Monday to discuss possible changes to Hawaii's gas cap. House Energy Committee met Monday to discuss possible changes to Hawaii's gas cap.

(KHNL)  Some drivers say Hawaii's gas cap law isn't helping them much at the pump.

"Anytime you have a cap on something and you upset normal demand it usually causes shortages as opposed to really regulating prices," said driver John Griffin as he filled up at Kahala Shell.

Some state lawmakers say drivers should be seeing lower prices. They think the problem may lie with the state Public Utilities Commission, the state agency in charge of setting the weekly price caps.

The PUC uses one set of prices from Los Angeles, the Gulf Coast and New York to set the caps, but lawmakers say they could be using a different group of numbers.

"During Katrina and Rita it made a huge difference, sometimes as much as 6, 7, 8 cents," said Rep. Hermina Morita, House Energy Chairwoman

Lawmakers also wanted to know why the PUC included a 6 1/2 cent mark up to cover transportation costs on Oahu. Lawmakers said that provision was only intended to apply to caps set for the Neighbor Islands.

"The law was set up so conditions like katrina or rita could be adjusted periodically to ensure consumers have the best price," said Rep. Marcus Oshiro, House Majority Leader.

The PUC said lawmakers crafted the price cap law and it is enforcing it as written.

"We cannot arbitrarily change it, like I said from week to week day to day to try to change the numbers up or down based on how I want the numbers to be, I buy gasoline too," said Carlito Caliboso, PUC chairman.

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