Billionaire seeks oil refiner transparency on profits from California gasoline prices

Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer, right, speaks during a news conference with consumer advocate Jamie Court, left, president of Consumer Watchdog in Santa Monica, Calif. on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer, right, speaks during a news conference with consumer advocate Jamie Court, left, president of Consumer Watchdog in Santa Monica, Calif. on Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (AP) — Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer is calling on state legislators to require oil companies to disclose how much they make in profits from refining oil in California.

Steyer was joined by the nonprofit Consumer Watchdog Wednesday in condemning what they called historic profits for oil refiners at the expense of consumers.

A brief supply shortage brought a huge rise in wholesale oil prices in California in July. Drivers in some parts of the state paid more than $4 a gallon for gas.

Prices have since decreased.

According to Consumer Watchdog, Californians paid $1.2 billion more for gas than the rest of the nation in July.

Steyer said he has not yet identified any lawmakers who intend to carry the legislation.

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