Newsom Signs Measure To Potentially Prevent Gas Spikes
Sacramento, CA — In a move that could have significant impacts on the state’s oil refiners, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill on Tuesday that would give state regulators the power to impose penalties on oil refiners when they profit excessively from California drivers. The Governor had called for action against oil refiners six months ago, as California gas prices soared to $2.60 per gallon higher than the national average. Newsom had made it a centerpiece of a special legislative session, which officially concluded on Tuesday.
The bill signing took place just a day after the California State Legislature approved the bill in the Assembly. Governor Newsom praised the lawmakers for their support of the measure, saying he was grateful and proud of the “courage on display.”
“The oil companies don’t have your back. They don’t care about you,” Newsom said. “This measure gives us the tools we need to hold them accountable and protect consumers from unfair pricing practices.”
The bill would allow state regulators to impose penalties on oil refiners who are found to be profiting excessively from California drivers. It would also require the companies to disclose detailed information about their pricing practices and profits. Oil refiners, however, have strongly opposed the measure, arguing that it would hurt their ability to compete in the market and ultimately lead to higher prices for consumers. They have also questioned the legality of the measure, saying it could violate federal antitrust laws.
Despite the opposition, Governor Newsom and other supporters of the bill say it is necessary to ensure that consumers are protected from unfair pricing practices and that the state’s energy market remains competitive. The measure is set to take effect in January 2024.