Newsom Wants Tax Rebate, Touts ‘California Way’ Of Governing

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed sending money back to taxpayers to offset record-high gas prices but rejected calls to increase oil drilling, saying he wants to free the state “once and for all from the grasp of petro-dictators.”

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The average price for a gallon of gas in California is the nation’s highest at $5.44, according to AAA — a number that is likely to increase after President Joe Biden banned Russian oil imports on Tuesday in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

Newsom’s proposal, announced during his annual State of the State address, would likely come in the form of a tax rebate. But the governor gave no specifics, saying he will work with legislative leaders “to put money back in the pockets of Californians to address rising gas prices.”

Dee Dee Myers, Newsom’s senior adviser, told reporters one option is to send the rebate to California residents who have a car, including people who are living in the country illegally. The money could go out as soon as this spring, pending legislative approval.

In a wide-ranging address, Newsom also warned that authoritarianism isn’t just rising overseas, using his election-year speech to offer “a California Way” as the antidote to what he called the “agents of a national anger machine.”

Newsom, a Democrat who handily beat back a mid-term recall campaign last year, also touted his administration’s progress on homelessness, the economy, education and climate change in a speech to assembled lawmakers in an auditorium near the state Capitol. By contrast, last year’s speech — given mid-pandemic — was delivered outdoors in an empty Dodger Stadium, which was being used as a mass-testing site.

This year, coronavirus case numbers and hospitalizations are plummeting and the nation’s attention is drawn to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the accompanying spiraling gas prices. Republicans nationally and in California want to see the Biden administration increase drilling. Newsom rejected that call.

“Drilling even more oil,” he said, “only leads to even more extreme weather, more extreme drought, more wildfire.”

“We need to be fighting polluters, not bolstering them,” Newsom said. “And in the process of so doing, freeing us once and for all from the grasp of petro-dictators.”

As he did throughout the speech, Newsom offered “California’s leadership” as the alternative, calling clean energy “this generation’s greatest economic opportunity.”

California is one of the nation’s most oil-rich states and Republicans, who are a small minority in the Legislature and hold no statewide offices, see high gas prices as an election year issue they can exploit. California taxes gasoline at 51.1 cents per gallon, second only to Pennsylvania, according to the Federation of Tax Administrators.

“Gas prices are out of control. Let’s suspend the gas tax, stop using foreign oil and focus on energy independence policies that don’t place new burdens on working families,” Assemblymember Suzette Martinez Valladares said in the Republican “prebuttal” to Newsom’s speech.

Newsom has additionally proposed pausing a slight increase in the state gas tax scheduled to take effect this summer. But Democratic leaders in the Legislature have balked at that proposal, arguing it would make it harder to maintain the state’s roads while only providing barely noticeable relief at the pump.

Assembly Republican Leader James Gallagher said Republicans, while critical of Newsom in other areas, can work with him on the tax rebate.

“If we have nearly a $60 billion surplus in the state, it means that people are overtaxed and we should be giving the voters and citizens of this state back some of their money, especially in the trying times that we’re in when the cost of living is through the roof,” Gallagher said.

The governor otherwise has been pushing to wean California, famous for its car culture, from the internal combustion engine.

Newsom has ordered the state to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars by 2035 and halt all in-state oil drilling by 2045.

The Newsom administration has issued 632 oil drilling permits in 2021 and so far this year, but about 300 of them have not been used yet, according to the governor’s office.

Several environmental groups said Newsom should impose an immediate moratorium on oil and gas development.

Click here to read the full story at AP News


  1. hmmmmm…….rebates from democrats?? Looks like we’re in an election year as these communist dictators are again, dangling carrots in front of their constituents for more votes.

  2. fed up with CA says

    Can not believe he did not get recalled. Makes me very suspicious of our election process. I will be so glad to leave this god forsaken state. Hope all those who chose to keep him are happy and will wake up one day before it is too late. Not holding my breath for that to happen. Good by California

  3. Not so easy for everybody to just move out of California. Newsom doesn’t want to drill in this State because he WANTS gas to go to $10 a gallon. How else are you going to get people to buy electric cars? People driving small, gas-efficient cars will be delighted to see fewer SUVs on t he roads. But even democrats have become disenchanted with Newsom, as his lies begin to mount up.

  4. And of course the ignorant a$$hole is giving up his cars, disconnecting his house from the grid and gas lines, funding the Mystic Harbor whaling fleets because we are going back to killing whales for lamp oil,, getting rid of ALL plastic thingys in his house including his computer, cell phone, etc, and will propose a solution for all of the horse crap now accumulating in the streets since he handled this problem so well in San Fransicko.

  5. “Drilling even more oil,” he said, “only leads to even more extreme weather, more extreme drought, more wildfire.”

    Who still believes this fantasy?

  6. “Gov. Slick” of Californutopia speaks again about what a terrific state he leads. No natural gas, no oil, no nuclear — where the heck does he think the owners of all those new electric vehicles are going to be able to plug in to all those EV recharging stations on which the Feds will waste $$$ billions…? Has any CA bureaucrat ever tried to operate an EV in the rain or freezing cold…? Our gas lines will soon be longer than the lines at the future EV recharging stations.

    Voting for a unicorn would be more productive than voting for Newsolini, and certainly better than a vote for Biden or Harris whom he so wants to follow.

  7. Stan Sexton says

    Newsom is a “Young Global Leader” as appointed by Dr. Klaus Schwab’s World Economic Forum. So is Trudeau and many other “Davos Boys” adhering to the principles of “The Great Reset”. So the “California Way” is to support Obama, Biden and Soros as they implement the WEF goals of “You Will Own Nothing and You Will Be Happy”. You won’t be able to own or afford a gas car or a house. And with that, inflation will affect your standard of living while creating the Greatest Transfer of Wealth in History to the Wealthy. The Great Reset is well on it’s way. Welcome your Billionaire Masters, the Fascist Alliance of the State and Corporations and Neo-Feudalism for the Masses.

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