Oil industry urges California regulators to delay new market disclosures

By Wes Venteicher | 03/19/2024 06:45 AM EDT

A rushed process could lead to higher gas prices, not lower, industry representatives told the California Energy Commission.

Storage tanks are seen at the Phillips 66 refinery in Rodeo, California.

Storage tanks are seen at the Phillips 66 refinery on Nov. 17, 2021, in Rodeo, California. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

SACRAMENTO, California — Oil and business groups urged the California Energy Commission on Monday to delay imposing new data reporting requirements on oil and gas companies, arguing the new rules could end up raising gas prices rather than lowering them as intended.

In a workshop, the CEC outlined proposed rules, scheduled to take effect May 20, that would require companies to report more details on their profits, provide advance notice of refinery maintenance schedules and submit more data on oil imports. The rules would expand reporting requirements that California Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislators imposed on oil market participants last year in an effort to tamp down gasoline price spikes.

The industry’s calls to delay the rule, which came at the same time as calls from environmental groups to move faster, underscore the pressures on the CEC in its high-stakes effort to keep California gas prices in check.


Newsom called for a cap on oil refiners’ profit margins at the end of 2022, accusing companies of “gouging” consumers after prices at the pump reached $6.44 per gallon that fall. The industry said the high prices were the result of international market forces, California’s environmental standards and limited gas supplies.