California Gov. Gavin Newsom is lashing out at oil companies who he says are “fleecing” Californians with gasoline prices that are rising disproportionately in the Golden State.
“The fact is, they’re ripping you off. Their record profits are coming at your expense,” Newsom said in a scathing video posted to Twitter Friday in which the governor called for a new windfall tax on oil companies.
Newsom said the windfall tax would “ensure these profits go directly back to help millions of Californians who are paying for this oil company extortion.”
Gas prices in California crept up yet again overnight, reaching an average of $6.36/gallon for regular unleaded Saturday, according to AAA. In the Los Angeles area, gasoline hit $6.45/gallon, up 7 cents from the day before.
The national average is $3.80.
“The degree of diversions from the national prices has never happened before, and oil companies provide no explanation,” Newsom said. “We’re not going to stand by while greedy oil companies fleece Californians.”
Explanations for the rising fuel costs have ranged from refinery maintenance, Hurricane Ian, to increasing demand.
AAA data shows Californians are, indeed, being disproportionately impacted.
California has seen gasoline climb by more than one dollar per gallon over the past month while, nationally, prices have decreased by 3 cents.
California Gas Prices vs. National Average (price per gallon of regular unleaded)
|Saturday, Oct 1. = $6.358||Saturday, Oct 1. = $3.80|
|Friday = $6.293||Friday = $3.797|
|Week Ago = $5.682||Week Ago = $3.700|
|Month Ago = $5.252||Month Ago = $3.829|
The all-time record high for gas in California is $6.438/gallon set on June 14.
Also Friday, Newsom announced that oil refineries could roll out winter-blend gasoline ahead of schedule, which could reduce the price of gas up to 25 cents per gallon, the governor said.
Starting next week, millions of Californians will also begin receiving tax refunds of up to $1,050 to help offset rising inflation.
Democratic leaders in the California Legislature support a windfall tax on oil profits, while Republicans believe Newsom should suspend the state gas tax to provide relief at the gas pump.