Oil Industry Pushes Back Against Newsom’s Claims Of Price Gouging

As California Gov. Gavin Newsom continues to blame “greedy” oil companies for the state’s high gas prices, the oil industry is pushing back arguing that California’s unique taxes, fees and regulations are the real culprits behind the steep prices at the pump.

Through their Institute for Energy Research, oil companies have questioned why they are only accused of being greedy in California where gas prices are nearly $2 per gallon higher than in states like Oklahoma, Wyoming and Kansas. They point to California’s hefty taxes and burdensome regulations such as its cap-and-trade program and low-carbon fuel standard as the obvious answer.

“Gov. Newsom stated that high prices are caused by ‘illegal price gouging by greedy oil companies.’ His claim does not answer the obvious question — why are oil companies only greedy in California?” the Institute for Energy Research said in a statement.

According to data from the California Energy Commission, refiners actually lost between 10 and 38 cents on each gallon they produced from October 2023 through February 2024 while the state imposed $1.15 a gallon in taxes and regulatory fees.