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In a nakedly political waste of time and money, state Attorney General Letitia James is gunning for Big Oil.

Officially, James is using her office’s power to see if oil companies are taking advantage of inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to hike gas and diesel prices at the pump. She’s probing not just oil and gas companies, but also independent refineries, terminal owners and others for alleged “price gouging” in New York.

“Price gouging is unfair and illegal and my office is determined to make sure it doesn’t happen in our state,” huffed the AG.

OK, it might make sense to go after individual station owners if she has any evidence they’re jacking up prices. But the feds can surely handle any conceivable malfeasance by the big boys; the Biden Justice Department would love to do it.

But the factors pushing up energy prices nationwide are obvious: Global prices began rising as COVID receded; the invasion of Ukraine roiled markets more; this president is doing his best to prevent new domestic production; inflation is soaring across the board, and so on.

This is just an election-year pander to exploit voters angry about paying $5 or more at the pump.

James has a history of frivolous legal action: As city public advocate, she filed a host of lawsuits that courts routinely threw out for basic issues like lack of standing or lack of evidence.

A New York AG has much more authority, but James has still managed to grandstand fails in her new job, such as her pandemic suit against wholesaler Quality King and its CEO for allegedly jacking up Lysol prices by 50 percent. (A Manhattan state judge dismissed the case.)

If James really wanted to confront New York-specific energy-price pressures, she’d be better off investigating state lawmakers and the governor’s office for crimping local supplies.

Source: NYPOST

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