High gasoline prices can be attributed to two factors: low refining capacity and expensive transportation, former Gulf Oil CEO Joseph Petrowski said Tuesday
"The consumers are not being taken advantage of," he told CNBC's "Closing Bell."
"If the consumers are suffering it's because policymakers have accelerated the closing of refineries in this country; we've become too vulnerable to some very large refineries and we have not built the increased pipelines that we need."
The last time oil prices were at their current level was in March 2009. During that time the national average for a gallon of gas was $1.99. However, that average today is $2.66, despite lower crude prices.
Petrowski, who is managing partner at Mercantor Partners, said regulatory obstacles have led to fewer refineries in the U.S.
"The EPA has put on a lot of restrictions and costs on refineries and if you were sitting on a board today and looking at the future of energy given the fact that we've demonized hydrocarbons, why would you want to build a refinery, why would you even get involved in the process?"