(KTXL) — Gov. Gavin Newsom will reportedly be taking action Tuesday afternoon on a bill aimed at the oil industry.
The price gouging penalty proposal was passed by the State Senate and Assembly in recent days, but it is a modified version from Newsom’s original reason for calling for a special legislative session, which was to introduce additional taxes on oil companies.
In its final form, the bill will create a new committee within the California Energy Commission that will be able to review data from refiners, allow the committee to set caps on oil company profits, and allow for penalties against companies that exceed those caps.
The issue of taking action against the companies grew mid-to-late last year when Californians saw record-high gas prices.
California last year saw an average gas price of over $6 per gallon. In the span of one month, AAA recorded a jump of over a dollar in the price of a gallon of gas.
One California county saw an average gas price of $7.210.
If signed into law, it would be the nation’s first bill to penalize price gouging at the pump, according to the Associated Press.
The bill would also give state regulators access to previously undisclosed information about how oil companies set prices.
Newsom spoke at the press event about how the proposal will help the state learn why Californians pay dollars more than the rest of the state for a gallon of gas. He said that taking into account California’s regulations and taxes it still doesn’t explain why gas prices remained high when crude oil prices were falling last year.
“We seek to truly understand what has been impossible to understand in the past,” Newsom said.
He went on to explain that gas prices will not immediately fall and that they would follow a public process before taking action.
“We are going to get under the hood and address the issue like no other jurisdiction in this country has,” Newsom said.