California to investigate gas high prices

Gas high prices

The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, asked the State Attorney’s Office to investigate whether major diesel and gasoline suppliers are doing unfair practices to set high prices on fuel.

“There is no identifiable evidence to justify these premium prices (on gasoline),” Newsom wrote in the request sent to the attorney general’s office, Xavier Becerra, Monday night.

The decision to initiate an investigation came after the California Energy Commission (CEC) delivered a report on gasoline prices, which in some cases exceeds one dollar per gallon compared to other states.

The 10-page report concluded that there is no justification for cost overruns and that California drivers spent 1.5 billion more than those in other states on gasoline in 2018, although there was no specific difference in the fuel sold in the Golden State.

Newsom drew attention to the increase in gasoline prices, especially in the “premium”, since last April, when he asked for the investigation for the cost overrun of retailers of renowned brands such as Chevron, 76 and Shell, who say their product is of higher quality.

However, the CEC study concluded that “there is no apparent difference in the quality of gasoline between different points of sale in the state and brands.”

“If the oil companies engage in false advertising or pricing, then legal measures must be taken to protect the public,” Newsom said in the request to Becerra.

The analysis warned that California drivers paid an average of 30 cents more per gallon in 2018, even reaching $1 above in April of this year.

In the past five years, Golden State drivers paid an additional $11.6 billion at gas stations, the report adds.

In that regard, CEC said “it has no evidence that gasoline retailers set prices or participate in false advertising.”

However, the report clarified that the big brands did not provide any proof that their gasoline was better than what the state requires all retailers to sell.