Newsom orders early sale of cheaper winter gas as prices go above $6 – stops short of suspending gas tax

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CALIFORNIA – Assembly Republicans put out a list of solutions they say would help immediately help lower gas prices. 

In response, Governor Gavin Newsom directed the California Air Resources Board (CARB), on Wednesday, to allow for an early transition to the cheaper winter-blend gasoline, but stopped short of suspending the gas tax for a year as requested.

Photo credit: AAA

According to AAA, the average gas price across California was $6.07 as of September 30. The national average is $3.82.

The winter-blend gas will lower prices 10 to 30 cents per gallon

Additional gas relief solutions

Californians are now paying $2 more per gallon of gas compared to the national average,” tweeted Assemblyman Juan Alanis. “This is brutal for working families and people on a fixed income.”

Assembly Republicans said gas prices can immediately be lowered by:

  • Suspending the gas tax for one year
  • Eliminate hidden gas taxes
  • Transition to winter blend gas when oil prices spike
  • Stop the annual gas tax increase

Newsom sent a letter to CARB directing the department to immediately take whatever steps are necessary to allow for an early transition to winter-blend gasoline. The blend is typically not sold until after October 31.

RELATED: SoCalGas expands eligibility for grants up to $500 to pay gas bill

Price gouging allegations

In addition to the early transition of the winter-blend gas, Newsom also directed the Division of Petroleum Market Oversight to report, by January 1, 2024, initial proposals for reforming the spot market in California. 

He says this will protect Californians from the market-distorting behavior between refiners and traders that the current structure of that market may allow. 

Assemblymember James Gallagher says Newsom’s price gouging allegations are unfounded.

“Everyone knows that prices are high because of California’s taxes and regulations,” said Gallagher.

Following Newsom’s directive, Republicans sent a letter asking him to call a special session of the Legislature to again temporarily suspend the gas tax.

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