As gas prices soar, Gov. Newsom demands tax on ‘rip off’ oil companies and urges switch to winter-blend fuel

Amid rising gas prices in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday urged lawmakers to introduce a windfall tax on “rip-off” oil companies and urged state air regulators to allow refiners to produce cheaper winter gasoline to boost supply and the to lower prices.

“Crude oil prices have fallen. Oil industry profits have increased. Still, gas prices in CA have risen by record amounts. It doesn’t add up,” Newsom said in a tweet accompanied by a video message. “We are demanding an unexpected tax so that those profits flow back to Californians who are paying for this oil company blackmail.”

Despite Newsom’s message, any proposed legislation would not be introduced until January, when the Legislature resumes session after a late-calendar hiatus that began in late August.

To offer some relief to Californians, Newsom, who is running for re-election, also called on the California Air Resources Board to allow refiners to distribute cheaper winter gasoline, which is expected to boost oil supplies.

In the past week, the average price per gallon of gasoline in the state has increased by more than 70 cents, according to data from the American Automobile Assn. As of Friday morning, Californians awoke to an average price of $6.29 a gallon — 11 cents more than the day before — and nearly double the national average of $3.79 a gallon.

Anlleyn Venegas, a spokeswoman for the Automobile Club of Southern California, attributed some of the recent spikes to planned and unplanned maintenance at refineries that have tightened fuel supplies.

“West Coast fuel stocks are at their lowest level in about a decade, according to reports [the U.S. Energy Information Administration]Venegas said after another recent increase in fuel costs.

Gas in California tends to be more expensive than other states for a number of reasons, such as: B. due to state laws mandating special seasonal mixes, mainly to limit CO2 emissions in the warmer months. The state also has a fuel tax that was signed into law by the then-government in 2017. Jerry Brown, who was supposed to repair dilapidated roads and bridges. Under the law, the tax increases on July 1 each year based on growth in California’s Consumer Price Index.

As gas prices and inflation began to skyrocket this year, Republican lawmakers called for the tax to be repealed in hopes of giving motorists relief.

Instead, in June, Newsom and state lawmakers approved a $9.5 billion tax refund program that provides some families with one-off payments of up to $1,050, arguing that more robust relief was needed, even beyond the pump .

The state expects to distribute the payments in October and continue through January.

To be eligible, residents must file their 2020 tax returns by October 15, 2021, have resided in the state for at least six months in 2020, and not be a 2020 dependent dependent. Recipients must also be California residents on the date of payout. Payments are made automatically if you qualify; Residents do not have to apply. As gas prices soar, Gov. Newsom demands tax on ‘rip off’ oil companies and urges switch to winter-blend fuel

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