"The high price of gasoline was an important consideration during the debate on major energy legislation, which ended August 8 as the President signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005, H.R. 6 (P.L. 109-58). However, prices continued to surge, spiking at the end of August when Hurricane Katrina shut down refining operations in the Gulf of Mexico. The continuing crisis renewed attention to some issues that were dropped or compromised in the debate over P.L. 109-58, as well as a number of initiatives to reduce the impact of high prices on consumers. A large number of factors combined to put pressure on gasoline prices, including increased world demand for crude oil and U.S. refinery capacity inadequate to supply gasoline to a recovering national economy. The war and continued violence in Iraq added uncertainty and a threat of supply disruption that added pressure particularly to the commodity futures markets."
CRS Issue Brief for Congress, IB10134