Gov. Newsom Signs New Law Authored by Senator Allen Requiring CA Oil Refiners To Report Profits Per Gallon

Vallejo, CA — California Governor Gavin Newsom took action today to uncover why Californians are paying so much to fuel vehicles when he signed Senator Ben Allen's legislation requiring oil refiners to disclose monthly their profits from refining oil into gasoline.

SB 1322, the Oil Refiner Price Disclosure Act, will require the state’s oil refiners to report each month on the cost of the crude oil they buy, the wholesale price of the gasoline they sell, and their per gallon profits.

Californians are now paying $1.49 more per gallon for gasoline than the average U.S. drivers, according to the most recent report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. While refiners blame added taxes and environmental regulation, those costs add only 60 cents per gallon.

“For far too long, refiners in our state have been able to keep their profit margins under wraps,” said Senator Ben Allen (D - Santa Monica), who chairs the Senate Environmental Quality Committee and the Legislative Environmental Caucus. “I am very pleased by Governor Newsom’s signing of SB 1322, finally giving California drivers more information about why they are paying so much at the pump amidst record gains by oil companies.”

“The Governor today took the first step towards dealing with the excess profits California's oil refiners appear to be making based on their investor reports," said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog.  “Oil refiner transparency about their profits and costs is critical to the legislature having the information it needs to take action against unreasonable, excess profits. We applaud Governor Newsom for signing the toughest oil refiner transparency law in the nation.” 

California refiners are not currently required to report their profits monthly, but many do report their regional profits to investors on a quarterly basis. In just the second quarter of 2022, California’s five big oil refiners reported unprecedented windfall profits that topped $26 billion—making from three to ten times more in profits per gallon off their West Coast operations from April through June than they did in the same period last year.  

A review of profit reports conducted by Consumer Watchdog found that profits per gallon from West Coast operations registered highest among each refiner’s reported regions across the United States and world. In California, five refiners dominate the market, controlling pricing and extracting excessive profits anytime a production issue restricts supply.

Read more about SB 1322 here.

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Ben Allen represents the 26th State Senate District, which consists of the Hollywood, Westside, coastal, and South Bay communities of Los Angeles County, and serves as Chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee and the Joint Committee on the Arts.