PBF Energy Criticizes California Gov. Newsom for ‘Politicizing’ Gasoline Prices (NYSE: PBF)

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PBF Energy (NYSE: PBF) has denied a request by the California Energy Commission to testify at a hearing on gasoline price hikes next week, citing Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “politicization of this issue” and failure to heed warnings from the state. Bloomberg reported Wednesday that gasoline production is falling.

“Refining is an extremely capital-intensive business,” and “California’s regulatory environment puts future investment in refining and fuel production in the state at risk,” PBF (PBF) said in its response to the regulator.

Refineries Marathon Petroleum ( MPC ) and Phillips 66 ( PSX ) also declined to testify, citing concerns about being able to share information under federal antitrust laws.

PBF ( PBF ) is on track to generate about $3 billion in profits this year, which it will use to pay off the “exorbitant debt” it took on to survive California’s COVID-19 lockdowns, the company said in a letter.

According to AAA, the scheduled hearing comes at a time when gasoline prices in California remain the highest in the continental United States, averaging $5,157 per gallon of unleaded gasoline; Newsom blamed “greedy” oil companies for “ripping off” customers at the pump.