By Alexi Chidbachian, KTTV FOX TV-11 Los Angeles, CA
May 11, 2022
LOS ANGELES - A recent investor profits report shows that California oil refiners are gouging Californians as they earn more than double the number of other refiners.
According to Consumer Watchdog, in the first quarter of 2022, some California refiners earned more than twice as those reported by the same refiners in other regions and as much as five times more than in the first quarter of 2021.
"These profit reports show the Golden State Gouge is real. Oil refiners exploited the crisis in Ukraine to make a mint from California drivers," said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog.
He says for the first quarter of 2022, PBF’s profits from its LA refinery grew to $32.84 per barrel. That is double from what it was in the first quarter of 2021, $15.75 per barrel.
Phillips 66’s Western refining margins were $17.68 per barrel in the first quarter of 2022; however, it was $7 per barrel in its Midwest and Gulf Coast refineries, and $7.49 per barrel in the West in 2021.
And Valero’s first quarter 2022 refining margin for the Western region was $13.97 per barrel, while in the first quarter of 2021 it was more than $9.75 per barrel.
"Despite the oil industry’s claims that the $1.50 extra per gallon Californians pay at the pump is due to taxes and environmental standards, first quarter profit reports show that California is nothing more than an ATM for oil refiners," Court exclaimed.
With 42 gallons in a barrel of gasoline, this means that PBF made about 78 cents per gallon on the gasoline it sold in Los Angeles from January 1 through March 31st. That compares to 37 cents per gallon profits in LA in Q1 2021and 42 cents per gallon profit from its Midwest refinery in the first quarter of 2022.
"Despite the oil industry’s claims that the $1.50 extra per gallon Californians pay at the pump is due to taxes and environmental standards, first quarter profit reports show that California is nothing more than an ATM for oil refiners," said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog.
"Since prices only tipped $6 per gallon well into the reporting period, this means that PBF likely made $1 per gallon profits on the gasoline sold in Southern California from March through May," said Court. "That's an obscene level of profits that should be a wake up call in Sacramento."
The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline in Los Angeles County rose Wednesday to $5.891.
The Orange County average price rose to $5.83, and the national average rose to $4.404.