Legislation requiring California oil refiners to disclose profits per gallon is moving forward, says Consumer Watchdog

LOS ANGELES, April 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — With exorbitant gas prices, legislation requiring California oil refiners disclose once a month the price they pay for crude oil and the profit margins they make on the gasoline they refine and sell outside the California Senate Energy Committee last night on an 8 to 0 vote.

SB 1322 (Allen), the California Oil Refinery Cost Disclosure Act, will let Californians finally know how much the state’s Big Five oil refiners profit from every gallon of gasoline they sell.

Five oil refiners control 96% of the gasoline produced in California: Chevron, Marathon, PBF Energy, Phillips 66 and Valero. While they report their refining profits in other states and regions, they hide their profits per barrel/per gallon from Californians.

“Petrol prices in California are now a dollar and fifty cents more per gallon than the rest of America,” said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog. “With California taxes and environmental fees added 60 cents per gallon, Californians have long wondered where the extra money they pay per gallon goes, and with this legislation, we will finally know. California has been an ATM for oil refiners for far too long, it’s time to pull back the curtain and find out how much California oil refiners earn every gallon of gasoline they sell and recoup excess profits.”

Read the legislation on: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=202120220SB1322

“We are asking the oil companies on behalf of California pilots: Let’s finish the games of smoke and mirrors. Open your books and show the public your true costs of doing business,” said Senator Allen, who chairs the California Legislature Environmental Caucus and Senate Committee on Environmental Quality.

The oil industry opposes the legislation on the grounds that it would violate anti-trust laws and allow market manipulation. However, gross refining margins and net refining margins are regularly published by companies for investors in other states and regions. Until 2015, Californian oil refiners Valero and Tesoro published their refining profits, as documented in this Consumer Watchdog report “Oil Slicked”. Consumer Watchdog embarrassed companies over rising margins. Subsequently, refiners stopped publishing their California specific profits per barrel.

“As we strive for a California where gas prices don’t matter because our cars, trucks and buses are powered entirely by renewable energy, meanwhile we can’t afford California oil refiners to take advantage of consumers,” said Jenn Engstrom, state director of CALPIRG, the California Public Interest Research Group. “We need better transparency so we know to call oil refiners if they are raising prices for consumers unnecessarily.”

SOURCE Consumer Watchdog