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New York Attorney-General Letitia James speaks at a news conference on March 21.Michael M Santiago/GettyImages/Getty Images

New York Attorney-General Letitia James is investigating whether the oil industry has engaged in gas price gouging, a representative from her office said on Thursday.

The New York state probe will focus on major companies that supply oil to the state, and refineries that turn crude into gasoline and independent operators of pipelines and terminals, the representative said, confirming a report on CNN.

The investigation will examine the state’s entire supply chain, the representative said.

Crude prices have hit 14-year highs in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and subsequent U.S. sanctions on Moscow, including a U.S. ban on Russian energy imports.

U.S. President Joe Biden last month accused U.S. oil companies of enjoying record profits while Americans pay high gasoline prices. He called for increased output and service to benefit consumers instead of investors, and announced a record release of crude oil from strategic reserves.

Oil executives defended themselves in the U.S. Congress last week from charges by lawmakers that they were gouging Americans with high fuel prices, saying they were boosting energy output and no one company sets the price of gasoline.

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