May 30, 2023
Plan puts gasoline price gougers on notice
SACRAMENTO – (INT) – Oil companies are step closer to being held accountable for spikes in gasoline prices.

The state Senate passed a proposal Thursday to create an independent watchdog to root out price gouging.

The plan would hold the oil industry accountable…and…
• Authorizes the California Energy Commission (CEC) to set a price gouging penalty via a public rulemaking process, to hold Big Oil accountable for making excessive profits at the expense of California families.

o The CEC would establish a penalty structure that deters excessive pricing by imposing a civil penalty on refiners who charge more than a maximum allowable margin for the price of gasoline.
o Before imposing any penalty, the CEC will first evaluate information and determine whether a penalty would have a benefit for consumers.

• Enhances the state’s authority to analyze why California has seen unexplained higher gas prices since 2015 – sometimes referred to as the “mystery gasoline surcharge” – and enforce reporting requirements on the oil industry to provide greater transparency into California’s petroleum market and encourage companies to play by the rules.
Story Date: March 28, 2023
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