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Lawmakers Gather To Talk Gas Prices

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The federal government can take steps to ease skyrocketing gas prices across the West, but those measures will take time and will not help motorists hitting the roads this holiday weekend.

That´s according to a group of lawmakers who held a congressional hearing in Henderson, Nevada, Friday to talk about soaring gas prices.

The lawmakers concede that there are few short-term fixes and higher gas prices can be expected over the next few months. In attendance at the hearing were state officials from California, Nevada and Arizona, along with representatives from the oil industry and citizens´ groups.

The committee heard testimony that average gas prices in the United States climbed nearly 50 cents from January to May and the most dramatic increases were seen in the West, where prices in Arizona, California and Nevada long ago exceeded the two-dollar per gallon mark.

Gas prices in Arizona and Nevada have increased because of their reliance on California´s supplies. The Golden State has seen high prices because of crude oil price increases, refinery closures and its mandate for cleaner-burning fuel.