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Energy Commission Delays Price Gouging Penalty Recommendation; Consumer Watchdog Calls for Governor Newsom To Force Penalty ASAP

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jan. 31, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Consumer Watchdog today condemned the delay in the implementation of a price gouging penalty as articulated by the California Energy Commission (CEC) at a briefing this morning.

The CEC had originally said the penalty recommendation would be put forth this summer, in time for the summer drive season, but at the briefing CEC Vice Chair Siva Gunda said the potential rule would be not put forth until the end of the year.

“Californians cannot wait an extra six months for the price gouging penalty promised them last year,” said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog. “Governor Newsom needs to put his foot in the Energy Commission’s derrière and get them moving quicker if he is going to deliver on his promise to protect Californians from gouging at the pump. There is no excuse for delay when Californians are still paying a dollar and a quarter more for their gasoline than US drivers and only a 70-cent gap is warranted based on extra taxes and environmental fees. This delay is unacceptable.”

Consumer Watchdog expressed support for the recommendations put forth by the Division of Market Oversight Director Tai Milder. Milder called for minimum inventories prior to refinery maintenance and more transparency in the spot market transactions.

“The recommendations are sound but without the hammer of a penalty in law soon they will not translate to lower gas prices in the near term,” said Court.

SOURCE Consumer Watchdog

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/energy-commission-delays-price-gouging-penalty-recommendation-consumer-watchdog-calls-for-governor-newsom-to-force-penalty-asap-302049865.html
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