Home>Articles>Gov. Newsom’s ‘Stronger Proposal to Hold Big Oil Accountable’ is Full of Organic Matter

Gas prices, Sacramento, CA, June 13, 2022. (Photo: Katy Grimes for California Globe)

Gov. Newsom’s ‘Stronger Proposal to Hold Big Oil Accountable’ is Full of Organic Matter

‘You are paying the same or less for the crude oil contained in a gallon of gas or diesel, but a lot more for government’

By Katy Grimes, March 16, 2023 4:57 pm

California Governor Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Rob Bonta “met with leaders representing a coalition of hundreds of organizations, stakeholders and local leaders to unveil new, stronger proposals to hold Big Oil accountable,” the governor announced Thursday.

“We’re making major progress with the Legislature to hold Big Oil accountable for fleecing Californians at the pump,” Gov. Newsom said. Only, it is the governor fleecing Californians at the pump, going back to 2017 when then-Gov. Jerry Brown, supported by then-Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, signed Senate Bill 1, which substantially increased vehicle registration fees as well as taxes on diesel and gas. SB1 also increases taxes on gas and diesel annually based on inflation every July 1st, and it has been increasing annually since that date.

Is that “Big Oil” or California Democrat politicians fleecing Californians at the pump?

Gov. Newsom’s announced Thursday the creation of a new independent watchdog within the California Energy Commission “charged with monitoring California’s petroleum market on a daily basis to ensure market participants play by the rules. The division would have access to new information required to be reported by refiners, subpoena power to compel production of other data and records that would reveal patterns of misconduct or price manipulation, and direction to refer violations of law to the Attorney General for prosecution.”

This is odd since the California Energy Commission not long ago found “no evidence that gasoline retailers fixed prices or engaged in false advertising.”

“On April 22, 2019 Governor Newsom asked the California Energy Commission (CEC) to do an in depth analysis of differential cost between national & California gas prices. In the end, the report delivered October 15, 2019, ruled out refiner margins as well as crude oil prices. The CEC also found “no evidence that gasoline retailers fixed prices or engaged in false advertising,” Dave Noerr, the Mayor of Taft, CA and President and CEO of Huddleston Crane Service, reminded the Globe.

Let us repeat that: The California Energy Commission found no evidence of gasoline retailers fixing prices or engaging in false advertising.

In fact, the report acknowledged the cost of producing gasoline to meet California’s specifications averaged about 11 cents more than national margins.

Here is what the report said exactly:

“With the exception of 2015, California and national refiner margins rose and fell together, as shown in Figure 2. From 2004 to 2014, the difference between California and national refiner margins averaged about 11 cents, which is close to the industry’s estimate (10 cents) of the cost of producing gasoline to meet California’s specifications. In 2015, the California refiner margin spiked, reaching an average of 83 cents for the year, caused by a Torrance Refinery outage. Thereafter, the steady relationship between the margins returned. With little to no growth in the difference between the United States and California refiner margins, the CEC concludes that refiner margins are not the cause of the residual price increase in California.”

The Globe is betting the governor hopes everyone forgot about that report.

AAA gas prices by state March 16, 2023. (Photo: https://gasprices.aaa.com)

AAA has the latest in national gas prices by state, and once again, California has the highest gas prices in the nation at an average of $4.885 for Regular, compared to $3.464 national average. The highest price per gallon in California for Regular gas is in Mono County at $5.746.

Mississippi had the lowest average gas price at $3.005 per gallon of Regular.

San Francisco’s current average for a gallon of Regular is $5.044. Midgrade unleaded is $5.238, and Premium grade is $5.396. Diesel is $5.681 per gallon.

AAA gas prices for California, March 16, 2023. (Photo: https://gasprices.aaa.com)

Gov. Newsom has been agitating for some time against “Big Oil” and their “windfall profits,” but always leaves out his and Democrats’ important role in escalating oil and gas prices in California through regulations, surcharges, “clean-air” and “low carbon” programs, cap and trade and more schemes.

Dave Noerr explained: “The growing difference between the price of crude oil and the retail cost of gas and diesel as well as the additional cost Californians pay compared to every bordering state and the rest of the U.S. is:

  • The Sacramento surcharge
  • The cost of California
  • The growing of Government
  • The Low Carbon Fuel Standard
  • The Cap and Trade Program
  • Vapor recycling requirements
  • Data collection
  • Air quality mandated equipment replacements”

“So California, the fact of the matter is, you are paying the same or less for the crude oil contained in a gallon of gas or diesel. You are just paying a lot more for government,” Noerr added.

Noerr points out that as recently as 1988, the state of California only imported about 4.5% of all the oil that we consumed in our state. He notes that in 2020 we imported over 70%. “If you wonder what happens when you give up energy independence, that’s what’s going on.”

Today California imports about 75% of the oil we consume. In 1982, California had 43 operational oil refineries and a population of nearly 25 million; today we have 11 operational oil refineries and a population of nearly 40 million.

Noerr said, “it’s the green policies imposed by California (as in the above list), including surcharges, taxes and fees, that are causing the cost of energy to skyrocket – which is what the green energy proponents want. Banning oil fields would only greatly exacerbate the problem straight into a full crisis as we are seeing in real time in Europe.”

“The rush to go green in Europe is a fantasy,” Noerr added. In its attempt to build “a climate-friendly future,” Europe has shunned oil, natural gas, and nuclear power, to its own detriment – and is now paying 80% higher energy bills.”

As for additional organic matter coming from the governor’s scheme to “create a new independent watchdog within the California Energy Commission (CEC) charged with monitoring California’s petroleum market on a daily basis to ensure market participants play by the rules,” are the statements from a UC Berkeley Economist, the SEIU and Sierra Club – all “stakeholders” according to the governor:

“The emphasis of this proposal on creating an independent division that will investigate competition in the California gasoline market, and find the source of the Mystery Gasoline Surcharge, is exactly what we need,” said Severin Borenstein, economist at UC Berkeley. “That new organization needs substantial staffing and resources, as well as the power to compel companies to provide confidential information, all of which is in the proposal. I am strongly supportive of it.”

Spend more money on programs, staffing and “resources” which will go nowhere, is the recommendation of the Berkeley economist. Expand the size of California government says the Berkeley economist.

The statement from the Sierra Club accomplice isn’t any better:

“The actions of the oil industry to line their pockets and double their profit margins has forced Californians on fixed incomes to make unconscionable budget decisions, going deeper into debt and sacrificing essential goods or medical care, just to afford their commute or get their kids to school,” said Brandon Dawson, Director of Sierra Club California.

The SEIU weighs in, predictably, on behalf of the little guy:

“Working people were hit hard by price gouging at the pump, and we need more protections for people while holding Big Oil accountable — Gov. Newsom’s proposal is exactly how we do that and keep prices low,” said Tia Orr, Executive Director of SEIU California.

Dave Noerr explains why all of this organic matter is, well, just more organic matter:

“Currently, the convenient scapegoat for all our pain at the pump is Vladimir Putin. Well, historical facts in California paint a different picture. California set it’s record for the retail cost of gas in June of 2008 at $4.53 a gallon, according to the Energy Information Agency (EIA), Global oil averaged $131.00 a barrel that month. In October 2012 we hit that cost of gas again but crude only averaged $103.00 that month. We broke that all time record, not when Putin invaded Ukraine, but on November 15, 2021, when crude oil averaged $82.00 a barrel- more than 3 months before the invasion of Ukraine. The prices of gas and diesel have continued to climb since that day.”

Remember what Noerr said: “the fact of the matter is, you are paying the same or less for the crude oil contained in a gallon of gas or diesel. You are just paying a lot more for government.”

Be sure to re-read:

CA Sen. Shannon Grove Schools Gov. Newsom on Democrats’ High Gas/Oil Costs:Your policies have created this problem & pain at the pump that is hurting every single California family’

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16 thoughts on “Gov. Newsom’s ‘Stronger Proposal to Hold Big Oil Accountable’ is Full of Organic Matter

  1. Can you believe this puffed-up jackass Newsom has the chutzpah to continue his phony finger-wagging at “Big Oil” when barely a second has gone by since he got caught with this pants down in the Silicon Valley Bank debacle? As only the latest in a series of corrupt revelations? And he KNOWS better, he knows the “Big Oil fleecing the public” nonsense is a lie.
    But who knows, maybe we should take his handing it over to a “task force” or an “independent watchdog” or whatever fake group that placates the gullible as a sign that he has “other things on his mind” and can’t take the pressure, and has washed his hands of it.
    In any case it’s great to see Katy Grimes’ fine fact-based account on the record here, the truth of which so thoroughly counters Newsom’s “Big Lie” about “Big Oil” to cover up (once again) what he himself has done to cause gas prices to skyrocket in California.

    1. Absolutely agree, Showandtell. This a the typical diversionary tactic to deflect attention away from the SVB debacle. He has also finally started to visit areas hit by the storms, like the levee breach at Pajaro, for his political photo op – just a liiiittle late, no?

      1. I’ve heard this “state tour” described as Newsom’s version of a State of the State address. Okay, whatever…. he’s cynical and clueless but at least he’s consistent! Too bad for him, though, that the usual photo-ops, incredulity about ‘how could this happen,’ and empty promises can’t fix his trashed reputation.
        So roll out the diversionary tactics all you want, Newsom — knock yourself out. The SVB flop and its tentacles, including Newsom’s involvement, have put his corruption on national display. Can he overcome that? Doubt it. Whether (as Fed Up maintains) it is the stupid CA voter who has continued to vote for him or it’s that he has been ‘installed’ in CA through election shenanigans, at least the U.S. voter is catching on to Newsom’s awfulness. That’s definitely a step in the right direction.

  2. California gasoline prices should not be the highest in the nation, because Kern County is over flowing with oil.

  3. I sure would like to get back to get back to “one person, one vote” just once without interference by Big Tech and Big Vote, just to get a baseline of where the electorate is.
    I don’t know anyone who wants to abandon fuel, close prisons, open borders, or be a sanctuary state for criminals. Do you?

    1. Yes Chuckiechan, it is mind boggling. My usual inclination is to blame voters. Only an imbecile would be incapable of looking around and not seeing reality. The majority of California’s voters live in metropolitan areas where it’s impossible to overlook crime, rampant drug addiction, unbearable costs for virtually everything, failing schools, crumbling infrastructure, etc. But this does not appear to register with voters. Voters are gullible morons, at least in California. All the media has to do is say “Orange Man Bad” and voters are instantly blinded to the realities around them. Regarding voting corruption you would think that there would be at least one ethical person in one major elections department who would blow the whistle on corruption if they discovered it. But no. So I don’t have an answer. Maybe it’s the water in California.

    2. Seems like a plan. So why do the state officeholders (including Gov Gavin Newsom, Secty of State Shirley Weber, and State Atty General Rob Bonta and the rest of the Dem/Marxist politicos such as Big County Registrars) refuse to give it a try? Just once, right? It would certainly save a lot of money, for one thing, wouldn’t it?
      NO, they won’t, and their REFUSAL to tighten up elections and revert to a fair and simple system is circumstantial evidence of election cheating. For doubters, in a criminal trial circumstantial evidence can be just as damning as direct evidence.

  4. Californians with common sense know that Newsom and California Democrats are fleecing Californians at the pump. They know California has the highest gas prices in the country because of California’s high gas taxes and fees. Newsom needs to be held accountable and be brought before a tribunal and for his many crimes against humanity such as locking healthy Californians and small businesses down (while excluding himself and his cronies) during the scamdemic, for mandating experimental mRNA shots that have injured and killed thousands of innocent Californians, and for making California a mecca for killing babies and mutilating trans surgeries.

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