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"Ripping off California consumers": Assembly committee to investigate oil companies

Lawmakers form committee to investigate oil companies
Lawmakers form committee to investigate oil companies 01:03

Gas prices in California are starting to creep down — but they still remain the highest in the nation, and state lawmakers want to know why.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Lakewood, announced the formation of a non-partisan committee to investigate rising gas prices in California, to be chaired by Assemblywoman Jacqui Irwin, D-Thousand Oaks. The committee's first hearing is expected to happen by the end of the month.

The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline dropped 1.5 cents to $6.403 on Tuesday, the largest daily decrease since April 13. Gas prices are also ticking down across the nation, decreasing 1.3 cents to an average of $4.968. 

Meanwhile, Rendon blasted oil companies like Shell and Chevron, which he says has reported $9.1 billion and $6.2 billion in profits in the first quarter of this year, respectively.

"Oil companies aren't struggling, but families certainly are," Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris said in a statement. She has also been appointed to the committee.

The high cost of gas also has the attention of President Joe Biden, who says a pause on the federal gas tax could be on the horizon to help soften the pain at the pump.

Gas prices usually rise with higher demand during the summer travel and road trip season, but have this year's record highs appear to have made a dent in demand and helped stop the rise of prices, according to according to the Automobile Club's Doug Shupe.

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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