by Katy Grimes, E&E Legal Senior Media Fellow and California Globe Editor
As Appearing in the California Globe

‘You are paying the same or less for the crude oil contained in a gallon of gas or diesel, but a lot more for government’

California Governor Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Rob Bonta “met with leaders representing a coalition of hundreds of organizations, stakeholders and local leaders to unveil new, stronger proposals to hold Big Oil accountable,” the governor announced Thursday.

“We’re making major progress with the Legislature to hold Big Oil accountable for fleecing Californians at the pump,” Gov. Newsom said. Only, it is the governor fleecing Californians at the pump, going back to 2017 when then-Gov. Jerry Brown, supported by then-Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, signed Senate Bill 1, which substantially increased vehicle registration fees as well as taxes on diesel and gas. SB1 also increases taxes on gas and diesel annually based on inflation every July 1st, and it has been increasing annually since that date.

Is that “Big Oil” or California Democrat politicians fleecing Californians at the pump?

Gov. Newsom’s announced Thursday the creation of a new independent watchdog within the California Energy Commission “charged with monitoring California’s petroleum market on a daily basis to ensure market participants play by the rules. The division would have access to new information required to be reported by refiners, subpoena power to compel production of other data and records that would reveal patterns of misconduct or price manipulation, and direction to refer violations of law to the Attorney General for prosecution.”

This is odd since the California Energy Commission not long ago found “no evidence that gasoline retailers fixed prices or engaged in false advertising.”

“On April 22, 2019 Governor Newsom asked the California Energy Commission (CEC) to do an in depth analysis of differential cost between national & California gas prices. In the end, the report delivered October 15, 2019, ruled out refiner margins as well as crude oil prices. The CEC also found “no evidence that gasoline retailers fixed prices or engaged in false advertising,” Dave Noerr, the Mayor of Taft, CA and President and CEO of Huddleston Crane Service, reminded the Globe.

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