In response to the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC)’s approval of over $500 million to the state’s largest, investor-owned utility companies, Ryan Hanretty, Executive Director of the California Independent Oil Marketers Association (CIOMA) issued the following statement:

“Today, the Public Utilities Commission continued to operate without care or compassion for California’s families.  The PUC unanimously approved over $500 million in handouts to the state’s three largest, investor-owned, meaning ‘for profit’, utility companies.

“The funds approved today and previous handouts to PG&E, SDG&E and Southern California Edison can only be seen as corporate welfare that further boosts the companies’ bottom lines for their shareholders; and, worse yet, this money comes at the expense of ratepayers. Simply put, this money will be paid by California’s hardworking families to protect big business profits and finance projects for the 4% of the vehicle market whose average incomes exceed $100,000 annually.

“It is rather telling that a Democrat controlled legislature and Administration will so easily bend to the will of big business and cast small, family- and minority-owned businesses aside without a care. These for-profit companies bring in a combined nearly $5 billion in profits each year, yet they continue to come back and ask for more.

“This is nothing more than an additional hidden tax on the very people already hit hardest by the rising costs of electricity. Californians that struggle with the exorbitant cost of living in this state and who fight to pay to keep their lights on should be outraged at the CPUC, the Governor, and the Legislature for discarding them as meaningless while protecting their rich friends – again.”

CIOMA is the industry’s statewide trade association representing the needs of independent wholesale and retail marketers of gasoline, diesel, lubricating oils and other petroleum products; transporters of those products; and retail convenience store operators. CIOMA’s members serveCalifornia’s families, agriculture, police and fire, cities, construction, and delivery industries to name a few.