Three years ago, Governor Moonbeam …. er … Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that ratcheted up gasoline taxes in California from 12 to 20 cents a gallon. Now, according to one Golden State political activist, state Democrats are deflecting by blaming high gas prices resulting from the news taxes on energy companies and suing them accordingly.
California Sues Energy Companies For Gas Price Gouging After Voters Nearly Revolted Over Fuel Taxes
Chris White, Daily Caller
California sued two major energy companies Monday for allegedly manipulating gas prices artificially.
Energy companies Vitol Inc. and SK Energy Americas drove up gas prices through “manipulative trades,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a complaint filed Monday.
“It’s greed that hurts grandma, the Good Samaritan and everyday Americans,” Becerra said in a prepared statement. “Every once in a while we get to fight back. That’s what today’s lawsuit is about. No one is above the law.”
Vitol and SK Energy Americas took advantage of a market disruption after a 2015 explosion at a gasoline refinery in Los Angeles County knocked out roughly 10% of California’s gasoline supply, according to Becerra’s lawsuit.
Becerra claimed the two gasoline trading companies colluded to keep prices high, thereby violating the state’s antitrust laws. Becerra and Newsom have not responded to the DCNF’s requests for comment, nor have Vitol and SK Energy.
“High gas prices, it seems, are not the result of gas taxes or California’s efforts to protect the environment,” said Democratic state Assemblyman Marc Levine, who announced the lawsuit alongside Becerra Monday.