Gavin Newsom
California Gov. Gavin Newsom. REUTERS/Fred Greaves/

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday he will call a special session of the state Legislature in December to enact a windfall tax on oil companies in the wake of spiking gas prices.

“I’m calling for a special session to address the greed of oil companies,” Newsom announced on Twitter. “Time to enact a windfall profits tax directly on oil companies that are ripping you off at the pump.”

Newsom called for the tax last week, saying that “crude oil prices are down but oil and gas companies have jacked up prices at the pump in California. This doesn’t add up.”

Oil refiners have blamed the price spike on unplanned maintenance of refineries across the state as well as California’s environmental requirements for fuel blends.

The average price of a gallon of unleaded regular in San Diego was $6.395 on Friday, up $2.011 from one year ago, according to the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. By contrast, the national average was $3.891, just 64.7 cents greater than one year ago.

Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins of San Diego and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon of Lakewood said in a joint statement that they “look forward to examining the Governor’s detailed proposal.”

“The gas rebates that are beginning to roll out today to Californians were a huge step in helping ease the brunt of rising fuel costs, and we will continue to examine all other options to help consumers.” the two lawmakers said. “A solution that takes excessive profits out of the hands of oil corporations and puts money back into the hands of consumers deserves strong consideration by the Legislature.”



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Ellen Bullock