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Four Lies Big Oil Is Feeding You To Keep Gas Prices High

Governor Gavin Newsom fact-checks Big Oil's lies about California's proposed price-gouging penalty

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Narrated by California Governor Gavin Newsom

Hey everybody, I’m Governor Gavin Newsom. This fall, Californians were saddled with record gas prices as Big Oil reaped record profits. When have you heard that before? This time, though, we’re going to do something about it with our gas price gouging penalty.

[CBS SF]: The Governor is calling on refiners to reign in their profits or face penalties for price gouging.

[NBC San Diego]: … if approved a civil penalty would be imposed by the California energy commission on oil providers that are overcharging. The money gathered from those penalties would then be given back to drivers.
[ABC Bay Area]
: … it would also expand requirements for transparency. It’s an effort the Governor says to force oil companies to lower the cost of gas.

Finally, we’re standing up to Big Oil. 

Of course, Big Oil hs been out there pushing out the same old LIES and MYTHS that they’ve been pushing over and over and over again to protect their record profits. 

Here are the 4 Big Oil myths you’ve been fed: 

Myth #1: Another gas tax for Californians at the pump.

[Fox News Clip]: California already has the highest gas tax in the country and if something is not done, it will rise again and that will impact all of us.

FALSE. This is a price gouging penalty, and Californians won’t pay a cent for it – only Big Oil will if they price gouge you at the pump to line their pockets. 

The penalty is all about preventing price hikes from happening in the first place so money stays in your pockets. But if big oil companies violate the law by charging you excessive profits, they will be forced to pay the penalty, which will be refunded right back to you, right back to Californians.

Myth #2: The reason California gas prices were so high is because of the state’s gas tax and fees.

[News Clip]: Contributing to these skyrocketing prices, there are other factors at play including the highest gas taxes in the country.

FALSE. When gas prices started skyrocketing in August and September, our gas tax and fees hadn’t changed a single cent. Not a cent. Big Oil won’t say why they suddenly started charging Californians a record $2.61 more per gallon than people in other states, but we know it resulted in record profits. Get this, you can’t make this up. In 90 days, they reaped $63 billion in net profits, with billions going to stock buybacks that benefit Wall Street. 

Our proposal includes some of the nation’s most aggressive transparency measures as well so we can get answers and prevent it from happening again.

Myth #3: Suspending the gas tax is the best way to bring down gas prices

[KTLA News Clip]: Republican lawmakers at the state level are determined to put this gas tax on ice for a while until prices stabilize. They’re saying “we’re not trying to put an end to the gas tax, it’s essentially a suspension for 6 months just to give people a break at the pump.”

FALSE. Suspending the gas tax would only give oil companies a huge tax break and there’s no guarantee, none, that they’d pass down the savings to people at the pump. They’d collect even more profits while putting critical improvements to our roads and bridges, our infrastructure, at risk. 

Look at what happened in Florida – they had a 25-cent gas tax holiday for the month of October, and drivers only got 8 cents. It was reported that “most of the … savings,” unsurprisingly, “were pocketed by fuel companies” even as gas prices continued to rise.

Myth #4: This is yet another gimmick to demonize the oil industry.

[Fox News Clip]: Just like we heard from Gavin Newsom that it’s Big OIl’s fault except for the Biden administration, Gavin Newsom, the greenpushers, who are all creating the policies that are limiting the supply of oil and limiting the investments.

FALSE. Let’s be clear: Big Oil has been screwing you. They charged Californians record high prices in 2022, peaking at $6.42 per gallon. By the way, that was despite the fact—get this—despite the fact that the cost of crude went down at the same time, and there were zero, no increases in state taxes, regulations, or any fees during that time.

This is about protecting California families and adding the same level of transparency other industries already face. Last time I checked, it’s not demonizing an industry by making them play by the same rules that everybody else does. 

While Big Oil spends millions to lie to you and push for drilling right across the street from our kids’ schools and playgrounds and daycare centers, California is doing whatever it takes to protect our communities from Big Oil’s greed. Accountability. Transparency. Fairness. That’s what we’ll get from Big Oil with our price-gouging penalty – it’s exactly what all Californians deserve.

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