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Californians Are Paying More for Gas Than Any State. Lawmakers Want to Know if It’s a Rip-Off

The average price of gallon of gas in Los Angeles County has dropped by a whopping 1.5 cents on Tuesday — which is the biggest daily drop in more than two months.

It’s a sign of just how sky-high gas prices have flown locally in SoCal, joining the rest of the U.S. and the world as drivers take a hit to the wallet.

But with average LA County prices still at $6.40 a gallon, and prices as high as $7.15 per gallon at individual stations, it’s no surprise that California has the highest gas prices in the country right now.

Those high prices are prompting state lawmakers to move forward with a legislative investigation to find out if oil companies are ripping off consumers.

The investigation aims to answer two basic questions:

  1. Why are prices so high in California?
  2. What can be done to lower the prices and stabilize them?

The select committee, led by Democrats in the State Assembly, will also look at what measures the state can take to reduce gas prices.

Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris of Irvine assured Californians that the assembly is working to protect consumers.

“For Californians who are hurting right now, please know that we are doing everything in our power to provide immediate relief,” she said. “We are also doing everything in our power to ensure that you, that we and that California is not getting ripped off.”

California Republicans have been talking about a temporary suspension of the state’s 51-cent-per-gallon gas tax, saying that it would provide immediate relief to California drivers.

But Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democratic legislators insist that move would only cut off funding for infrastructure projects, putting many jobs on the chopping block. They add that there’s no guarantee that oil companies would pass along their savings from the gas tax to the consumer.

On Monday, President Joe Biden said he is considering enacting a federal gas tax holiday to lower those prices nationwide.

Talk of a gas tax rebate for Californians is also still in the air.

California lawmakers are proposing a $400 gas rebate check for all state taxpayers, but it’s far from a done deal at this point. Randy Mac reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on March 17, 2022.

That idea provides a proposed $400 provided for each car, for up to two cars registered to one individual person — giving up to $800 back to any one California resident.

That rebate, if approved, would not take effect until the fall.

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