Mike Garcia | Our Governor’s Gas-Price Gouging

Rep. Mike Garcia

You’ve heard it from our governor before: Big bad oil and gas companies are out to rip off Californians by gouging prices and making a tank of gas unaffordable for most families. We’ve been fed this talking point by Sacramento politicians since Gov. Gavin Newsom took office. 

But the question must be asked: Who really is ripping off whom? 

Last month, Newsom pushed the state Legislature to propose a new financial penalty to punish the big bad oil companies for price gouging Californians. At numerous points in 2022, Californians were paying an average of over $7 a gallon at the pump. Our state makes headlines for having the highest gas prices in the nation time and time again. 

While Gov. Newsom points the blame at the oil companies, the truth and reality is much different. 

When you factor in all of the taxes and regulations that the state of California imposes on the energy industry, the government makes 97 cents per gallon of gas purchased in our state. Meanwhile, those big bad oil companies receive 37 cents per gallon of gas purchased here. Gov. Newsom and his bureaucrats in Sacramento are making more than double the money that most oil suppliers do per gallon of gas, while you continue to pay sky-high prices due to Sacramento’s radical policies. 

When you’re feeling pain at the pump, Newsom has one hand in your pocket while he points the other at oil companies and spouts false accusations of price gouging. 

The price-gouging narrative that Gov. Newsom and other Sacramento politicians continue to push is a blatant attempt to cover up their own policy failures. Gov. Newsom demands “transparency and accountability” from oil companies; however, the governor needs to take a look in the mirror. 

Californians deserve to know that the state is responsible for the highest gas prices in the nation, not oil companies. 

This past October, a federal judge in San Diego threw out a class-action lawsuit against oil companies for price gouging, finding that the allegations had no basis in fact. 

Meanwhile, as California families pleaded for gas tax relief, Newsom actually increased the gas tax. 

Companies like Chevron and Exxon are private entities with average profit margins of around 4-5%. Other private companies, like Starbucks, average anywhere from 10-20% depending on the quarter.

If you think an oil company making 37 cents per gallon of gas is too much, take a look at your coffee purchase. Starbucks profits $2.56 for every gallon of coffee sold. When is Gov. Newsom going to go after them for ripping off consumers? 

Until the supermajority in Sacramento proposes real solutions to our energy crisis and enacts policies to reduce gas prices for hardworking Californians, I’m not buying any of their bogus talking points. And neither should you.

Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, represents the 27th Congressional District, which includes the Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys. “Right Here, Right Now” appears Saturdays and rotates among local Republicans.

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