The Department of Energy's Economic Regulatory Administration is continuing to settle allegations that oil companies overcharged during the years prices were supposed to be controlled. In two recent actions:
* The department reached a "global" settlement with Standard Oil of California (Chevron) totaling $82.5 million. Of that total, $10.5 million was refunded to one of Chevron's refiner customers and $14 million was paid directly to the Treasury. A total of $25 million was apportioned to 46 states and territories where Chevron sold various products. Each state is to decide how to distribute the money, but the settlement recommends it be used for highway repairs, energy conservation or research and development on energy problems.
* The Office of Hearings and Appeals is accepting applications for refunds of a portion of a $2.9 million settlement Vickers Energy Corp. reached with DOE. To establish entitlement to a refund, an applicant must show that it purchased Vickers gasoline between Aug. 19, 1973, and March, 1979, and that, if it resold the gasoline, it did not pass through the Vickers price increases. Little applicants, such as drivers who got stuck at the pump, will be permitted to file claims, but there is no guarantee they will receive a refund because the refund for an average driver would be less than the cost of writing a check.