Governor Gavin Newsom on Tuesday took aim at the “record profits” of Valero Energy Corp. this year as gas prices soared, intensifying its battle with the mighty oil industry.
In a statement, Newsom renewed its call for a price gouging penalty “to put those profits back in the pockets of Californians.”
Valero’s third-quarter financial report showed the San Antonio company made $2.82 billion from July through September, Newsom noted, up more than 500% from its reported profit of $463 million. dollars in the same quarter last year.
“These profits came amid record high gasoline prices for consumers during this period, despite falling crude oil prices,” Newsom said.
Valero reported profits of $4.7 billion for the second quarter of 2022, an increase of 2,801% over the previous year, and the company has made $8.3 billion so far this year. , did he declare.
“Big Oil is ripping off Californians, raising gas prices and making record profits,” Newsom said. “While Valero grew profits more than 500% in just one year, Californians were paying at the pumps instead of passing those savings on.”
Other oil companies are expected to release their third quarter earnings reports in the coming weeks.
The governor said he took action to lower prices by ordering a switch to winter gas and demanding accountability from oil companies and refiners doing business in the state.
Newsom’s office credited his actions with contributing to an 11% reduction in California’s record high of $6.42 a gallon to $5.71.
Profits for Valero’s West Region, which come from its California refineries, topped 60 cents a gallon, according to the nonprofit Consumer Watchdog.
“This is only the second time it has reported such a bargain over 50 cents per gallon since 2001,” Consumer Watchdog said. “The first time was in the second quarter of 2022, when its earnings in California were 83 cents per gallon. Valero’s earnings in California once again outpaced all of its other parts of the country and the world.
This month, Newsom announced he was calling a special legislative session on Dec. 5 for lawmakers to consider passing a tax on the excess profits that oil companies have made due to rising gas prices in California.
The governor said he’s been working with leaders in the Democratic-controlled Legislature to figure out the best way to tax profits and give that money back to Californians who get bitten every time they fill up their gas tanks. essence.
“It’s just a ranking price hike. They can get away with it,” Newsom told reporters at the time. “They take advantage of you, each one of you, every day. Hundreds of millions of dollars a week that they put in their pockets, fill their pockets at your expense, then pollute this planet and leave us with all the external realities and costs associated with that.
Valero spokesmen did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.
Los Angeles Times