bp_logoWASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, R-Jimtown, along with Congressman Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, have sent a letter to the chief executive officer of British Petroleum (BP) demanding answers to questions pertaining to the sudden closing of its refinery in Whiting, Ind., which has caused a sharp spike in gas prices throughout the upper Midwest.

“We sent this urgent letter to BP today because consumers have a right to know what is going on with the unscheduled shutdown of the Whiting refinery,” Upton and Walorski stated.

In their joint letter to Robert Dudley, Upton and Walorski noted: “Some areas of the Midwest have seen prices rise over $1 per gallon over a 24 hour period, disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable of our constituents and resulting in large unpredicted costs in getting goods to market across the region. Additionally, some are worried that speculators may force additional increases due to lack of information.

“Needless to say, this incident poses a serious hardship for our districts.”

The BP Whiting Refinery in northern Indian shut down the largest of its three crude distillation units on Saturday.

Upton, who is chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Walorski, whose Congressional district includes the refinery, demand answers from Dudley for their constituents by August 21 along with daily updates. They want to know how long the outage is expected to last and how BP will prevent price gouging, among other issues.