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Top 10 Reasons for a Price Gouging Penalty on Big Oil

SACRAMENTO – Following Governor Gavin Newsom’s announced proposal for a price gouging penalty, here are the top 10 reasons why it’s time to rein in Big Oil and keep money in Californians’ pockets:

1. Big Oil made record profits last quarter – $63 billion in only 90 days – after hiking up the cost of gas on Californians.
2. California refiners like Valero and Marathon increased their profits by 500% and 545% in only a year, while Exxon reported their highest-ever quarterly profits and Chevron reported their second-highest – a staggering $19.7 billion and $11.2 billion, respectively.
3. Big Oil charged Californians historically high prices this summer and fall, peaking at $6.42 per gallon, despite the cost of crude going down and no changes in state taxes, regulations or fees.
4. Big Oil charged Californians a record $2.61 per gallon more than the rest of the nation.
5. Every oil refiner no-showed to California’s hearing on gas price hikes to answer basic questions about what happened, following their refusal to send in written responses.
6. The oil refiners kept blaming “refinery maintenance” for higher gas prices, despite the fact that it affected only 5.8% of California’s gas supply – not nearly enough to cause such drastic price spikes.
7. Oil companies like BP, Chevron, Exxon and Shell spent billions on shareholder buybacks that benefit Wall Street investors.
8. Amid a spike in gas prices, Big Oil CEOs got huge raises – $394 million in 2021 – while laying off workers. And just this week, Exxon’s CEO and top executives got another big raise.
9. Experts say Big Oil charges Californians a “mystery gas surcharge” that “can’t be explained by state taxes and environmental regulations alone,” and the industry refuses to provide answers.
10. 60% of California voters support a price gouging penalty and holding Big Oil accountable for making record profits by hiking up prices at the pump.

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