California Gas Rebates Coming This Month. How Much Will You Get?
Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Thursday that there are “9.5 billion reasons I think people should be appreciative that the state’s recognizing the stress and strain that families are going through” as gas prices in California approach record highs, despite the fact that costs could soon drop by as much as $1 per gallon.
At a press conference in San Francisco, the governor mentioned the $9.5 billion in rebates that California will start sending out today to help cover the rising cost of living. He made these remarks alongside the governors of Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia.
California Gas Rebates Coming This Month
Payments to California residents will range from $200 to $1,050, but receiving them may take some time. There will be approximately 10 million debit cards mailed out between October 25 and January 15, and 8 million direct deposits made to bank accounts between today and November 14.
Meanwhile, Newsom, who is running for governor again in the general election on November 8, is repeating his call for state lawmakers to enact a windfall profits tax on oil and gas companies and return the revenue surplus to Californians in the form of rebates.
Reelection campaign emails sent out on Thursday urged Californians to sign a petition in favor of Newsom’s windfall tax proposal, with the following text: “I’m just not going to stand by while millions of people are getting ripped off. But it will have to pass the legislature to happen, and I want them to know you’re with me.”
However, any additional relief, if approved by lawmakers, is likely to be quite a while off because the state Legislature is not scheduled to return to Sacramento until January.
Newsom: “We’re making that determination in real-time, and I’ll let you know when it’s made. … I’m quite confident we can achieve the result intended.”
Republican Assemblymember Kevin Kiley of Rocklin wrote in a blog post: “If Newsom does re-convene the Legislature, he’ll be sending the (Democratic) Supermajority into a trap. I’ll use the opportunity to force a new vote on suspending the gas tax, and we’ll see if they’re willing to oppose it again as ballots land in mailboxes.”
The oil and gas industry has not taken kindly to Governor Newsom’s use of terms like “petro-dictators” and “big polluters,” nor to his accusation that oil companies are “laughing all the way to the bank while making the planet uninhabitable for future generations.” Any further move is likely to escalate the Newsom administration’s ongoing battle with the oil and gas industry.
Paul Davis, senior vice president of PBF Energy Western Region, suggested the state’s policies were to blame for the dramatic uptick in gas prices in an online response posted on Thursday to a letter from the California Energy Commission last week asking five oil refinery executives to explain the increase. In response, Newsom’s office said that some executives were “evasive” and “most didn’t respond at all.”
Davis wrote: “The laws and policies being implemented to decrease domestic crude oil production within the State are adversely affecting refining operations within the State. … It must be recognized that, since 1980, approximately one million barrels per day of crude oil refining capacity has been permanently shut down in California.”
Gas prices are too high.
23 million Californians will be receiving up to $1000 starting TOMORROW.
This will be the largest state tax rebate in the country.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) October 6, 2022
He added: “The ability to import gasoline into California is limited as there are only a few refineries outside of California that manufacture the specific fuel blends mandated by the State’s regulations. With a ~120,000 barrels per day refinery scheduled to be shut down in the East Bay in 2023, the State’s gasoline supply and demand profile will be further challenged.”
However, the energy commission has shown little faith in the oil industry’s claims so far. Chair David Hochschild said in a statement on Wednesday that “all options are on the table” to prevent Californians from paying higher gas prices due to the oil industry’s whims.
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