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Newsom calls for tax on oil profits as fuel spikes

Crude Oil vs Gasoline Chart 2022-09-30.jpg

This chart shows how crude oil prices remained relatively stable in late September 2022 while California gasoline prices soared.

SOURCES: California Energy Commission staff analysis of AAA daily retail prices of regular grade gasoline and Oil Price Information Service crude oil prices

The state's oil industry is back in Sacramento's crosshairs after a disproportionate jump in California gasoline prices last month led Gov. Gavin Newsom to suggest oil producers and refiners should pay a higher rate on profits above a set level.

Newsom joined other officials in blasting what they called an unprecedented departure from the national trend that added a record 84 cents to the price of a gallon of gas in 10 days. The chairman of the California Energy Commission, demanding quick answers Friday from five refiners, all but accused them of intentionally neglecting to build up their inventories in anticipation of planned outages.