California regulators could decide oil profits penalty

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom says he wants state regulators to decide whether to impose the nation’s first penalty on oil companies for price gouging. At first, Newsom had asked state lawmakers to pass a law that would impose hefty fines on oil companies if their profits rose above a certain threshold. It was a reaction to last summer, when gas prices spiked to record highs as oil companies recorded supersized profits. But the bill has not gotten traction in the state Legislature. Wednesday, Newsom said he would ask lawmakers to empower the California Energy Commission to decide whether to impose a penalty on oil companies.