There has been a deadlock for months over how to provide relief for Californians who are paying over $6 per gallon for gas, and lawmakers in the state Assembly announced Monday that they are investigating oil companies who they claim are abusing the current situation to “suck profits from Californians’ wallet”
To find out why California’s gas prices remain the highest in the country, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon has formed a bipartisan committee to investigate gas price gouging.
On Monday, the average price of a gallon of petrol in California was $6.40, compared to the national average of $4.98.
“Because of our dependence on gas-powered engines, we have found ourselves in a predicament. There is no excuse, however, for the behavior of those who hold Californian drivers, hostage, by putting a foot on their necks and a hand in their pockets “Rendon commented.
Democrats have been accused by Republicans of driving up California’s record-high gas prices by refusing to temporarily stop taxing fuel as other states have done to manage costs. Republicans criticized the inquiry on Monday. Joe Biden stated Monday that he was considering temporarily suspending the federal gas tax, which would save drivers 18.4 cents per gallon.
Sacramento Democrats are forming a committee rather than suspending the state’s gas tax? According to the Republican vice-chair of the Assembly’s Budget Committee, Assemblymember Vince Fong. “Let’s put an end to the political games. Suspend the gas tax today.”
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State authorities have previously accused big oil firms of unfairly increasing gas prices in a state with more than 36 million registered vehicles on the road. California Democrats fear that suspending the gas tax will benefit mainly the huge oil companies.
Western States Petroleum Association President and CEO Catherine Reheis-Boyd agreed that Californians are paying too much for fuel and warned that “it could only get worse” if state officials don’t “take responsibility and act” to change the dangerous mix of bans, mandated changes and bad energy policy they are pushing on our state.
Instead of holding news conferences calling for more investigations that have found our business to be acting responsibly time and time again, this Legislature and the Governor should be promptly addressing these policy issues, according to Reheis-Boyd.
There have been numerous studies and inquiries about California’s high gas costs in the past, including one by former Attorney General Bill Lockyer, who was incensed when petrol prices in San Francisco hit $1.71 per gallon in 1999.
A gallon of petrol in California costs 85 cents in state, municipal, and federal taxes, according to the California Energy Commission. Crude oil, distribution, marketing, and earnings make up the rest.
California drivers paid $11.6 billion more at the pump during five years than drivers in other states as a result of huge oil firms “misleading and overcharging” customers by as much as a dollar per gallon, according to state regulators assessment in 2019.
It has been over three years since Gov. Gavin Newsom requested an inquiry by the state attorney general, and the investigation is still unresolved.
Dems in California prefer to use the state’s historic budget surplus of roughly $100 billion to distribute funds directly to citizens to reduce the exorbitant cost of gasoline. But the Democrats who control the state legislature have been unable to come to an agreement with Newsom on how to accomplish this goal.
During marathon negotiations with the Newsom administration over the weekend, Democratic Assembly Speaker Rendon said legislative leaders made progress. Nonetheless, “we’re not ready to make any announcements at this time,” he stated.
After 100 days of Democrats promising to take action on high gas prices, Republicans convened a press conference last week. Republicans are unable to enact legislation on their own because of a lack of legislative seats.
We are still waiting and there is no sign of relief,” Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher stated recently. “It’s time to take action.”