NextGen Climate Founder and businessman Tom Steyer joined Consumer Watchdog today to release a new report on California oil refiner price gouging. The new report used corporate and state data to analyze refiner profits in the state, which have grown exponentially since California's price spike began in February.
If calls on elected officials do not spur an investigation or legislative solutions, Tom Steyer outlined a potential ballot initiative to rein in the price gouging.
Steyer is proposing a measure that forces oil companies to be more honest and transparent about the reasons behind gas price spikes. The law would:
- Require oil companies to fully disclose the profits they make from refining gasoline in California, and the amount of taxes they pay to the state of California;
- Require oil refiners in California to give the public advance notice of planned maintenance and outages at their oil refineries;
- Require oil companies to have a plan to maintain a minimum level of gasoline reserves in order to prevent price spikes; and
- Increase the legal and financial penalties for oil companies if they illegally conspire to increase gas prices.