By Janelle Williams, INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES
October 28, 2022
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said Tuesday in a press conference that Valero Energy Corp. has been "ripping off" Californians.
The comments come as Valero posted revenues of $44.45 billion for the quarter ended September 2022.
Newsom has ordered oil companies to switch to winter-blend gas, which he said in a statement will "put these profits back into the pockets of Californians.
California has seen record-high gas prices this year, which Newsom's office attributes to price gouging. California's record peak was in July at $6.42 per gallon. Though prices have dropped 11% since then to $5.71, the state still has the highest gas prices in the nation.
Since winter-blend gasoline is cheaper to produce, Newsom is hoping that the cheaper cost of crude oil will put a stop to the price gouging. He has warned that he will go after Big Oil's tax breaks and institute a windfall tax on oil profits.
"With gas prices so high, people are rightly focused on big oil companies who are reaping 600% profits," Newsom's campaign spokesman Nathan Click told Bloomberg News.
Valero has made a profit of $8.3 billion in 2022, a 801% increase form last year.
Consumer Watchdog cited how Valero took a profit of 83 cents per gallon during its second quarter of 2022. The nonprofit noted that Valero's profits in California were once again the highest profit margins of any other part of the world.
"This is just rank price gouging," Newsom said at the press conference. "Hundreds of millions of dollars a week they're putting in their pockets, lining their pockets at your expense, and then polluting this planet and leaving us all the external realities and costs associated with that."