ENERGY: Fattening Gas Prices

As fuel prices flamed up during the energy crisis, Government officials repeatedly denied allegations that part of the increase was due to overcharging by some oil and gas companies. Those denials are no longer being made so vehemently. In recent months, legal action has been taken against several major oil firms in New York, Indiana and elsewhere, charging them with illegally restraining competition for profit—an accusation that the companies deny. Also, the Federal Energy Administration conceded that between January and May it failed to plug a loophole in its oil-allocation program, enabling some petroleum companies to increase their bills...

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