Gavin Newsom allowed local refineries to produce their “winter blend” of gasoline a month early in a bid to reduce gas prices, which have soared back to near-record levels even as prices in the rest of the country have slowly fallen from their peak.
The move repeats a similar effort by Gov. Jerry Brown ten years ago, and is an admission that the state’s environmental regulations are partially to blame for the fact that California has higher prices than the rest of the country — more than $2.50 higher, as of today.
The Associated Press notes that Newsom has also been forced to compromise his own climate change goals by allowing refineries to produce the winter blend ahead of the usual November date — though he also called for a 25% windfall profit tax on oil companies: California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday announced that oil refineries could start selling more polluting winter-blend gasoline ahead of schedule to ease soaring fuel prices, directly contradicting his own goals for reducing climate pollutants. ... Switching from the summer to winter blend would likely save consumers 15 to 20 cents per gallon, said Doug Shupe, a spokesman for the Southern California Automobile Club, an affiliate of AAA. Gas prices in Los Angeles are close to breaking a record of $6.46 set in June, he said. ... By urging air regulators to let oil companies switch to a winter blend earlier, Newsom is acknowledging that state rules play a role in prices, said Kara Greene, a spokeswoman for the Western States Petroleum Association. In calling for a windfall tax, Newsom claimed that the oil companies are “ripping you off,” citing the high profits they are earning: Oil companies are ripping you off.
Their record profits are coming at your expense at the pump. I’m calling for a NEW windfall tax exclusively on oil companies. If they won't lower their prices we will do it for them.
The $$ will go directly back to you. pic.twitter.com/oDOx6jYLtK — Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) September 30, 2022 However, the Wall Street Journal reports, the profits are an outcome of California’s climate change policies and environmental regulations, since there are few refineries willing to comply with the state’s mandates. California’s aggressive “climate policies benefit large refiners and producers that can sustain the state’s steep regulatory costs,” the Journal noted in an editorial.
The governor also sent a strongly-worded letter to oil companies demanding an explanation for recent price spikes. Analysts say the rise in prices is due to the fact that some refineries are offline for maintenance, and that the state cannot easily replace the lost supply. Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
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