By Tom Wait, KCBS TV-2 Los Angeles, CA
June 28, 2022
With oil companies raking in record profits, one state senator is pushing a new law that would require refiners to disclose how much they make on every gallon of gas they sell.
“Absolutely disclose it. I want to know,” Driver Lana Terpaprian told CBSLA Tuesday. “I’m literally so frustrated. A good amount of my money, that I work hard for, just goes to my gas.”
The national average for a gallon of regular gas is $4.88 nearly $1.50 lower than the California average of $6.30 a gallon. The glaring price gap has spurred a state senator to team up with a group called Consumer Watchdog to push legislation that would require refining companies to disclose their profits in great detail on a frequent basis.
“This bill basically says ‘Show us the Money. Show us how much you’re making, per gallon, per month,'” said president Jamie Court. “Unfortunately the evidence we have from the information that’s out there on the per-gallon profits are that we are being ripped off in the extreme.”
The bill would require oil refiners to disclose profit margins monthly. According to State Senator Ben Allen’s office, the five oil refiners that control 96% of California’s gas reap higher profits of 30-40 cents per gallon.
“Refiners and energy producers are under a lot of requirements from the CA energy commission for example to report a number of issues related to supply and cost and factors,” said Vice President of Western States Petroleum Association Kevin Slagle.
WSPA represents petroleum producers and refiners.
“We believe this bill is a solution looking for a problem,” he added.
Slagle said there are a number of factors that makes fuel more expensive in California.
“California is an energy island — we don’t import fuels via a pipeline from across the country,” said Slagle. “Our refiners here are producing fuels Californians are using every day. What we don’t refine in California is brought in from overseas.”
But at the pump, frustration — and at least some support for this bill.
“Yes please, disclose it all,” added Terpapian.
Tom Wait joined CBS2 and KCAL9 in March 2013 as a general assignment reporter. He covers the Los Angeles metro area and the Inland Empire. He also anchors our streaming network, CBS News Los Angeles. A Southern California native, Tom has worked in New York City, Detroit and Kansas City, Missouri, before coming home.