By Andrew Sheeler, SACRAMENTO BEE – CAPITOL ALERT
March 14, 2022
Speaking of high gas prices, one California lawmaker has introduced a bill, SB 1322, that would require refinery operators in the state to submit a monthly report detailing the volume of crude oil refined into gasoline in the prior month, the average price paid for each barrel of crude oil that is refined into gasoline, and the gross and net refining margins per barrel of gasoline sold.
“The bill would require the (State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission) to post those reported data, within 14 calendar days of the end of each month, on its internet website. The bill would require the commission to notify a refiner that has failed to timely submit the information required by the bill and would impose the above-described civil penalty on the refiner as specified above,” according to the legislative counsel’s digest summary of the bill.
The bill is authored by Sen. Ben Allen, who chairs both the California Legislature Environmental Caucus and the Senate Environmental Quality Committee.
“We ask the oil companies on behalf of California drivers: Let’s end the games of smoke and mirrors. Open your books and show the public your true costs of doing business,” Allen said in a statement announcing the bill.
The bill is supported by both Consumer Watchdog and CALPIRG. According to Consumer Watchdog, five oil refiners — Chevron, Marathon, PBF Energy, Phillips 66 and Valero — account for 96% of the gasoline refined in California.
“Gasoline prices in California are about a dollar and ten cents more per gallon than in the rest of America,” said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, in a statement. “With California taxes and environmental fees adding about 50 cents per gallon, Californians have long wondered where the extra money they are paying per gallon goes, and with this legislation we will finally know. California has been an ATM for oil refiners for too long, it’s time to pull the curtain back and find out how much California oil refiners are making off every gallon of gasoline they sell and take back the excessive profits.”