California Governor Orders Investigation into High Gas Prices

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As I’m sure you’ve noticed, Californians are paying nearly $1.50 more on average when compared to the rest of the country. Prices have risen so high, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered an investigation into the dealings of big oil companies, citing a new report that suggests they are overcharging customers by as much as a $1 per gallon.

Name-brand retailers like 76, Chevron, and Shell often upcharge their prices per gallon, stating that their gasoline is of higher quality than others. However, according to a report by the California Energy Commission, analysis is unable to point out the difference in quality. 

California drivers paid an average of $0.30 more per gallon in 2018, with the difference reaching as high as $1 per gallon mid-year. Totaled up, Californians spent an additional $11.6 billion at the pump. 

“There is no identifiable evidence to justify these premium prices,” Gov. Gavin Newsom wrote in a letter to Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “If oil companies are engaging in false advertising or price-fixing, then legal action should be taken to protect the public.”

California is home to some of the toughest fuel standards in the nation, including having the second highest gas tax rates in the country behind Pennsylvania. Officials in the oil and gas industry point to these statistics as being the main driving force behind the astronomical gas prices in California. The question still remains as to whether gasoline companies are practicing false advertising by promising their product is of “higher quality.” 

Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s office will be leading the investigation into whether there is a mystery surcharge being added at the pump in California. Until then, Californians will have to continue to pay high gas prices that show little sign of letting up. In the meantime, check out these tips to help you conserve gas and save money at the pump. 

Avid writer and reader with a curious mind. I'm always looking to get the most out of life! Follow me on Twitter @whatsaschoon

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