The California Legislature is Standing up to Big Oil’s Unexplained Price Gouging – CA Climate Accountability Project

The California Legislature is Standing up to Big Oil’s Unexplained Price Gouging

For years, the oil industry has manipulated California’s petroleum market, driving inflation and squeezing every penny they can from California families.

In 2022 alone, the oil and gas industry made over $200 billion in profits by skyrocketing gas prices, taking billions of dollars from consumers that could have gone to Californians’ most basic needs like rent and groceries. At a time when crude oil prices dropped globally, California gas prices hit an all time high at $6.42 per gallon, a record $3.61 more than the national average.

When asked to attend a state hearing to investigate the unprecedented and unexplained increase in gas prices, all five major oil refiners refused.

Californians are demanding action against price gouging at the pump, and the state has responded loud and clear.

Big Oil must play by the rules.

California Governor Gavin Newsom and legislators just passed a landmark bill to increase transparency and oversight for California’s oil industry and hold them accountable for unexplained price gouging. The Governor and legislators are signaling that California leaders are siding with Californians, not with Big Oil’s agenda.

The new oversight measures & price gouging penalty bill includes:

  • Creation of a new independent division within the California Energy Commission (CEC) to deter Big Oil from ripping off California consumers.
  • Enhancement of the CEC and California Department of Tax and Fee Administration authority to analyze why California has seen unexplained higher gas prices since 2015.
  • Authorization for the CEC to impose a penalty to discourage price gouging of California consumers.

These critical transparency and accountability requirements can and should prevent overcharging at the pump and stop oil companies from raking in excessive profits that belong to California families. Now, our leaders can focus on the state’s responsible transition to cheaper, safer and more reliable clean energy.