California now has additional measures to combat illegal price gouging by selfish oil firms, protecting you and your family from sharp increases in gas prices.
Today marks the implementation of California’s new law to stop price gouging at the pump. The nation’s first bill was approved earlier this year by Governor Gavin Newsom after he requested a special session of the Legislature to make Big Oil responsible for defrauding Californians at the petrol pump.
A recent national study indicated that 89% of Americans favor measures to stop petrol price gouging, making California’s law a shining example for the rest of the country.
The tweet below by the Office of the Governor of California verifies the news:
California’s first-in-the-nation law to prevent gas price gouging is in effect!
We’re delivering on our promise to hold Big Oil accountable.
These transparency laws help track profits & shine a light on misconduct so Californians aren’t vulnerable to Big Oil’s greedy whims. pic.twitter.com/HqhtXziF7a
— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) June 26, 2023
As of right now, the new regulation:
- Through the requirement of daily reports on the market and imports, exposes price manipulation in real time.
- Requires refineries to disclose planned maintenance and unplanned maintenance in real-time, preventing the spikes in gas prices that occur when refineries go offline.
- Obtaining monthly updates on refiner profit margins increases accountability.
- Creates a new independent watchdog within the California Energy Commission, the Division of Petroleum Market Oversight, to keep an eye on the sector.
What Governor Newsom said?
“California is delivering on our promise to hold Big Oil accountable. These new transparency laws will help us track refiners’ profits and shine a light on price manipulation so Californians aren’t vulnerable to the greedy whims of Big Oil. And this is just the start – we’re standing up the nation’s first Big Oil watchdog to monitor the industry 24/7, rooting out illegal price gouging in real-time to help you keep money in your pocket.”
Gas prices in California have been significantly lower and less variable since 2022. The governor’s measures have contributed to a $1.50 per gallon annual drop.
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How Does It Operate?
It was possible to pass SBx1-2 by working with Senator Nancy Skinner and the Legislature. This new law establishes the Division of Petroleum Market Oversight, a specialized state-independent watchdog to thwart oil companies’ price gouging, and gives the California Energy Commission (CEC) the power to impose a fine to hold the sector accountable.
The new division will keep a careful eye on the sector every day to spot unethical or unlawful behavior, and it will report any legal violations, such as dishonesty in the sector or market manipulation, to the Attorney General for punishment.
As California moves to establish the independent watchdog office, these nation-leading transparency laws take effect today.
If you’re looking for crime news from across the state or the country, go no farther than The California Examiner.