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Consumer Advocates Do Not Want Carson Refinery Sold

C. M. Keiner

California consumer advocates are piping up about a Texas company's plan to buy a major fuel refinery in Carson, California.

San Antonio-based Tesoro is hoping to buy the Carson refinery and hundreds of retail gas stations from British Petroleum. The multibillion-dollar sale would transfer one of the state's largest refineries and Arco gas stations from BP to Tesoro.

The Texas company already owns a refinery in Martinez, California and operates Tesoro, Shell and USA gas stations.


Consumer advocates says the current record high gas prices make their point about opposing the sale. They argue there already isn't enough competition in the California refinery marketplace and reducing it even more would hurt consumers.

"If the deal goes through, you have a situation where both Chevron and Tesoro together will control almost half of the refinery market here in California and that is not going to be good for consumers," said Liza Tucker of Consumer Watchdog.

Consumer Watchdog is asking California's attorney general to block the sale. Tesoro officials didn't return calls seeking comment.