Gavin Newsom Aims To Spike Gas Prices

Estimated read time 3 min read

California’s governor seems to think he’ll lower prices instead.

As of the writing of this article, AAA says the average cost for a gallon of gas in California is $6.33. Meanwhile, the national average sits at $3.919 a gallon – still not cheap but not nearly as expensive. Consistently, the Golden State leads the nation in the cost of gasoline, a trend which has been going on for some time. Governor Gavin Newsom has pinpointed the problem: “the greed of oil companies.” His proposed solution should only make the bad situation worse.

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For a few weeks, the price of gas in the United States was dropping day after day, a fact President Joe Biden took credit for after bolding declaring he couldn’t affect the cost of fuel. Like any long-term politician, he’s practiced at dodging responsibility and taking credit, depending on which is more favorable. While Newsom hasn’t been in politics nearly as long, he seems to have a firm grasp on the same artform.

According to a report from Los Angeles-area news station KTLA 5, state taxes and fees constitute $1.18 per gallon of gas in California. While that story was from almost a year ago, it gives a good indicator of at least in part why gas is so expensive in the state. It also would help explain why Hawaii, an island chain well away from any refineries, has an average gas price of $5.216 at the moment.

Take that into account when Newsom’s proposal he so boldly posted to Twitter was to tax oil companies for their “windfall profits.” Such a move would guarantee the gap between California’s high gas prices (and climbing) would increase in magnitude with whichever state comes in a distant second. In other words, Newsom’s plan would only exacerbate the problem, like pouring gasoline on a raging inferno.

Undoubtedly, Newsom believes this move will signal to oil companies that his state is ready to take off the gloves. However, his leverage isn’t as strong as he thinks. It’s not like California can just stop consuming petroleum products and show these companies who’s boss. His strong-arm tactic seems to be nothing more than political posturing just in time for the mid-term elections. Besides, the governor is missing the point.

The true reason for California’s sky-high gas prices isn’t corporate greed but instead out-of-control government regulation. It’s more expensive for oil companies, and plenty of other businesses, to operate in the state. Those extra expenses lead to inflated prices. This isn’t a difficult situation to figure out, unless one is blinded by ideology. And that explains why Newsom will take action to spike prices as they’re already surging, ensuring Californians get squeezed further.

Lead image via Twitter

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