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News Release

Tesoro Reports Record California Profits After California Price Spike

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Cody Rosenfield & Jamie Court

Santa Monica, CA -- Tesoro, the state’s second largest refiner, reported today that 2015 was its best year ever for refining in California. Based on an analysis of the company’s annual filing, Consumer Watchdog has found that in 2015 the company made $1.9 billion in California alone- their best year ever by over a billion dollars. The company controls 27% of California’s refining capacity. Tesoro made $423 million in California in the fourth quarter of 2015.

The profits come as California remains the most expensive place in the United States to purchase gasoline – drivers in the state are still paying 80 cents more than the national average.

“Tesoro, Chevron & Valero have taken advantage of Californians and made billions of dollars at their expense. This is profiteering.” Said Consumer Advocate Cody Rosenfield.

Like other companies that specialize in refining – in 2015 Tesoro has been able to far outperform historical results because of the plummeting price of crude oil. Refiners are able to capitalize on low priced oil and make high profits on gasoline.

Other major California refiners Valero & Chevron had similarly profitable years when it came to refining. Valero, the only other company that reports California-specific data, made $852 million in the state in 2015 – almost four times their average annual profit since 2010 of just over $216 million.

Chevron does not provide state-specific data, but the company had their best year ever in refining in the United States, making $3.1 billion. More than half of Chevron’s United States refining takes place in California. Chevron is California’s largest oil refiner, controlling 28% of the state’s refining capacity.

The governor created the Petroleum Market Advisory Committee (PMAC) to monitor the California gasoline market and provide recommendations. The committee will meet on February 8th for the first time in 2016. Consumer Watchdog will present the concept of a windfall profits tax to PMAC for them to consider as a recommendation to improve the state’s gasoline market.

An analysis of California consumption and relative gas prices showed that drivers in the state have paid an extra $10 billion due to the higher gas prices.

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