Newsom Wants Windfall Tax for ‘Greedy’ Oil Companies

Gov. Gavin Newsom hadn’t even finished dispensing with all of the bills on his desk ahead of Friday’s midnight deadline before he issued a call for new legislation.

“We’re not going to stand by while greedy oil companies fleece Californians,” the governor said in a stern Twitter video, citing a lopsided surge in gas prices that has resulted in Californians paying about $2.50 more per gallon at the pump than the national average.

Newsom asked state lawmakers to introduce a windfall tax that would cap oil companies’ profits, tax at a higher rate any earnings above that ceiling and return the money to taxpayers via rebates — potentially similar to those the state is set to begin depositing in millions of residents’ accounts this week.

“Oil companies are ripping you off.” Newsom said in the video. “ Their record profits are coming at your expense at the pump. I’m calling for a NEW windfall tax exclusively on oil companies. If they won't lower their prices we will do it for them.”

Democratic State Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins of San Diego and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon of Lakewood said in a statement: “We’ll look at every option to end the oil industry profiteering off the backs of hard working Californians.”

Democratic Assemblymember Alex Lee of San Jose proposed enacting a windfall profits tax on oil companies earlier this year, but it failed to advance.

Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher of Yuba City said in a statement: “The governor just doesn’t get it. … The problem in California is policy. We need major action on these prices, starting with suspending the gas tax and additional fees that make our gas so much more expensive here.”

Newsom on Friday also directed the state’s air regulators to allow refineries to begin producing winter-blend gasoline immediately, rather than waiting until after Oct. 31 as required by law. Winter-blend gasoline is easier and cheaper to make than summer-blend gasoline — which refineries are required to produce in hotter months — but it also emits more pollutants, the latest example of Newsom contradicting his own climate goals in order to address kitchen-table issues.

Meanwhile, the California Energy Commission sent a letter to five refinery executives, demanding they respond by today to a series of questions, including: “Why have gasoline prices risen so dramatically in the past 10 days despite a sharp downturn in global crude prices, no significant unplanned refinery outages in the state, and no increases in state taxes or fees?”

The oil industry is taking actions of its own: On Thursday, Secretary of State Shirley Weber cleared for signature-gathering a proposed referendum to overturn a law Newsom signed last month to prohibit new or extensively retrofitted oil or gas wells within 3,200 feet of homes, schools, nursing homes and hospitals.

It’s the latest example of industry turning to the ballot box to challenge laws coming out of Sacramento: A proposed referendum has already been filed against a law Newsom recently signed to create a state-run council to regulate working conditions for the fast food industry while setting workers’ minimum wage as much as $22 per hour next year. The coalition behind the referendum has already raised nearly $13 million, with Starbucks, In-N-Out Burger and Chipotle each contributing $2 million, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.


  1. Where do they think the gas companies are going to get money for these new taxes? They’ll just raise the price of gas.

  2. I don’t understand why Newsom doesn’t simply declare an emergency and institute price controls on fuels like Nixon in 1973. These greedy oil companies need to know if they charge more than the national average they can take their business elsewhere than California. We won’t have it.

  3. The Sleazy and Hypocritical Governor is now trolling for more low information voters?

    Looking to place blame for his (and Begger-man Biden’s) failed policies on Energy Production?

    Only a Getty Oil Empire benefactor and stooge would think that this cycle of mandates, restrictions and taxes is somehow going to produce more energy or more value (in dollars) for the “Freedom” seeking residents of this poorly governed state.

    A Cycle of Ignorance:
    Raise the cost of doing business for Energy Production,
    Reducing the supply of Energy products to consumers,
    Raising the cost of Energy products to consumers,
    Raise the cost of doing business even more,
    Reducing investment in Energy Production further,
    Reducing supply further,
    Raising consumer cost further,
    etc, etc.

    And the regressive “Progressive” solution – More Taxes.

    CA Governance and its Failing Policies relies entirely on the “Low-Information” voter.

    Pure Karma (or Carma?) that Californians
    have to pay an average of $6.50 per gallon for gas and diesel fuels (the highest of all 50 states),
    and have the highest Electricity Prices of all 50 states –
    81% Higher Electricity Price on average.

    “California’s average Residential Price for the 12 months ended June 2022 was 24.41 cents/kWh, 80.9% HIGHER than the US average of 13.49 cents/kWh for all states other than California. California’s residential prices again were the highest among the contiguous states.”

  4. There are over 13,000 operating oil wells in the San Joaquin Valley, so there is no shortage of oil and gasoline. To beat the Big Oil gasoline price rip-off, buy an EV.

  5. VACANCY VAQUERO – sorry but you will ‘have it’ and you will like it.

    “These greedy oil companies need to know if they charge more than the national average they can take their business elsewhere than California.
    We won’t have it.”

    Maybe if you leave the State of California like many more taxpayers are doing these days,
    otherwise you continually vote for it, and accept it from elected officials.

    Do you say the same about CA Taxes?
    Almost All Taxes in CA are higher than the National Average.
    Just one relevant example being fuel taxes.

    “According to the American Petroleum Institute (API),
    the states with the total highest gas taxes are
    California (68.2 cents per gallon (cpg) ),
    Illinois (59.6 cpg),
    Pennsylvania (58.7 cpg),
    Hawaii (51.7 cpg), and
    New Jersey (50.7 cpg).

    Taxes and fees make up a large portion of the cost of the state’s sky high gas prices,
    which are also highest in the nation.

    An analysis by Irvine based researchers Stillwater Associates found Californians were paying
    at least $1.25 cents per gallon in taxes and fees alone.
    That number fluctuates by a few cents depending on sales tax calculations, which vary by city.

    Here is a full breakdown of the added cost:
    Federal Excise Tax: 18.4 cpg
    State Excise Tax: 53.9 cpg
    Sales Tax (est 2.25%): 13.5 cpg for $6 a gallon gas.

    Low Carbon Gas Programs: 22 cpg
    Greenhouse Gas Programs: 15 cpg
    Underground Tank Storage: 2 cpg

    The American Petroleum Institute (API) puts the national average state excise tax at
    about 26.2 cents per gallon for gasoline.

  6. please, please

    price controls AND greedy profit taxes

    I would love to see San Jose loss some weight and walk, because of Newsom does this, that gas will go elsewhere

    you people are so clueless

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