Sacramento, CA…California’s new law to combat price gouging at the pump takes effect today. Governor Gavin Newsom signed the first-in-the-nation law earlier this year after calling for a special session of the Legislature to hold Big Oil accountable for fleecing California families at the gas pump. California’s law is a model for the nation: a recent national poll found that 89% of Americans support efforts to crack down on gas price gouging.
Starting today, the new law:
- Exposes price manipulation in real time by requiring daily reports on the market and imports
- Helps prevent gas price spikes caused when refineries go offline by requiring refineries to report maintenance schedules in advance and unplanned maintenance in real-time
- Increases accountability by getting monthly reports on refiners’ profit margins
- Establishes a new independent watchdog, the Division of Petroleum Market Oversight, within the California Energy Commission, to monitor the industry
What Governor Newsom said: “California is delivering on our promise to hold Big Oil accountable. These new transparency laws will help us track refiners’ profits and shine a light on price manipulation so Californians aren’t vulnerable to the greedy whims of Big Oil. And this is just the start – we’re standing up the nation’s first Big Oil watchdog to monitor the industry 24/7, rooting out illegal price gouging in real-time to help you keep money in your pocket.”
Compared to 2022, California’s gas prices have been substantially lower and less volatile. The Governor’s actions have helped lead to a decrease of $1.50 per gallon, year over year.
HOW IT WORKS: Working with Senator Nancy Skinner and the Legislature to pass SBx1-2, this new law creates the Division of Petroleum Market Oversight, a dedicated state independent watchdog to root out price gouging by oil companies and authorizes the California Energy Commission (CEC) to create a penalty to hold the industry accountable. The new division will closely monitor the industry on a daily basis to identify unethical or illegal behavior, and will refer any violation of law – including industry misconduct or market manipulation – to the Attorney General for prosecution.
These nation-leading transparency measures go into effect today as California works to stand up the independent watchdog office.
CONTEXT: This new law is the latest instance in which the Governor has successfully taken on the historically powerful oil industry for putting profits over people. Last year, Governor Newsom signed legislation adding new reporting requirements to oil refiners, as well as a law protecting neighborhoods and schools from oil drilling.