Saturday, February 4 2023 Sign In   |    Register

News Quick Search



Front Page
Power News
Gas News
Today's News
Yesterday's News
Week of Jan 30
Week of Jan 23
Week of Jan 16
Week of Jan 09
Week of Jan 02
By Topic
By News Partner
News Customization


Pro Plus(+)

Add on products to your professional subscription.
  • Energy Archive News

    Home > News > Gas News > News Article

    Share by Email E-mail Printer Friendly Print

    California lawmakers take on oil price gouging at special session. Here’s what could happen

    December 5, 2022 - Lindsey Holden, The Sacramento Bee


      California lawmakers are preparing to debate alleged oil company price gouging, swear in new members and vote on leadership positions, all in the same day.

      Senate and Assembly members will convene in Sacramento on Monday for the start of the regular legislative session, as well as a special session Gov. Gavin Newsom called to address possible penalties against the oil industry, which registered record profits amid spiking gas prices this fall.

      He said drivers were paying more at the pump due to “greed, pure and simple.”

      Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, told CalMatters the kickoff will serve only to “establish and organize the special session.”

      More substantial work on possible windfall penalties for oil companies will not take place until after Jan. 4, when legislators return following the winter holiday.

      Here’s what to expect Monday.

      What’s going on with the special session?

      Newsom, who announced plans for the session in October, still sounds intent on sanctioning the state’s oil industry. But his terminology has shifted.

      He initially described the plan as a “tax” on windfall profits. The money would go back to taxpayers through rebates or refunds. On Wednesday, however, the tax became a “penalty.” The wording difference may be important, as tax increases require a two-thirds vote in both the Assembly and Senate.

      “During the special session, the Legislature will also consider efforts to empower state agencies to more closely review gas costs, profits and pricing as well provide the state with greater regulatory oversight of the refining, distribution and retailing segments of the gasoline market in California,” Newsom’s office said in Wednesday’s statement.

      However the fee is worded, oil companies still view it as a tax, said Kevin Slagle, a spokesman for Western States Petroleum Association.

      “Make no mistake, this is a tax,” Slagle said. “When you impose a penalty on industry, it’s a tax, and you’re not taxing (your way) to lower costs.”

      What about the regular session?

      Senators and Assembly members will also meet for the first day of the regular legislative session. It mostly serves as a swearing-in ceremony for new members of both houses, as well as a time to elect new legislative leadership.

      Democratic Assembly members caucused in November to select a new leader following a protracted competition between Rendon and Assemblyman Robert Rivas, D-Salinas, for the role.

      Members agreed that Rendon would serve as Speaker until June 30, when Rivas will take over. The entire Assembly, including Republicans, on Monday will vote on this compromise.

      ©2022 The Sacramento Bee. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


    Other Articles - Generation


       Home  -  Feedback  -  Contact Us  -  Safe Sender  -  About Energy Central   
    Copyright © 1996-2023 by CyberTech, Inc. All rights reserved.
    Energy Central® and Energy Central Professional® are registered trademarks of CyberTech, Incorporated. Data and information is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended for trading purposes. CyberTech does not warrant that the information or services of Energy Central will meet any specific requirements; nor will it be error free or uninterrupted; nor shall CyberTech be liable for any indirect, incidental or consequential damages (including lost data, information or profits) sustained or incurred in connection with the use of, operation of, or inability to use Energy Central. Other terms of use may apply. Membership information is confidential and subject to our privacy agreement.