(Mark Pellin, Headline USA) While President Joe Biden’s reckless raids of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for midterm partisan purposes have artificially shielded most states from spiking gas prices, the persistent pain at the pump in California prompted leftist Gov. Gavin Newsom to call for a special legislative session to pass a new tax on oil company profits to punish them for what he called “rank price gouging.”
Newsom admittedly has no idea how such a tax could or would be implemented, but that didn’t stop the state’s Energy Commission from also bashing the oil industry for inflated pump prices, which are averaging close to $6.40 per gallon.
“As I expressed in my letter to the oil industry last week, the recent sudden increases in prices at the pump are unacceptable and place an undue high burden on California families and businesses,” wrote California Energy Commission Chair David Hochschild.
“All options are on the table to ensure Californians aren’t paying higher gas costs at the whims of the oil industry,” he lectured. “Additionally, the CEC will use every tool at its disposal to get answers, and refusal to respond will factor into any fixes necessary.”
Energy titan Valero wasted no time responding to the outrageous claims and accusations, noting that the higher gas prices in California are driven largely by the leftist policies of the Democrats in charge of the state, which have produced the “most expensive operative environment in the country” with “a very hostile regulatory environment for refining.”
“California policy markers have knowingly adopted policies with the expressed intent of eliminating the refinery sector,” Valero’s Vice President State Government Affairs, Scott N. Folwarkow, wrote in a letter to the CEC.
“California requires refiners to pay very high carbon cap and trade fees and burdened gasoline with cost of the law carbon fuel standards.”
It’s amazing politicians who have never produced anything of value, think they’re smarter than people who actually run major operations where profit and loss actually matter. Newson’s not smart enough to work in Valero’s mailroom. https://t.co/nwLqwyBC6q
— marnes (@marnes) October 8, 2022
Folwarkow told Fox News that Newsom’s proposed new tax was misguided and would hurt both the oil industry and consumers.
“Adding further costs, in the form of new taxes or regulatory constraints, will only further strain the fuel market and adversely impact refiners and ultimately those costs will pass to California consumers,” he said.