By TOM JOYCE
THE CENTER SQUARE STAFF CONTRIBUTOR
(The Center Square) — California Governor Gavin Newsom wants the federal government to take action against recent natural gas price increases and touted action the state has taken to combat rising prices.
The Democrat recently sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, requesting that the agency “immediately focus its investigatory resources on assessing whether market manipulation, anticompetitive behavior, or other anomalous activities are driving these ongoing elevated prices in the western gas markets.”
To combat these rising prices, California will give its residents a credit of $90 to $120 on their gas and electric bills starting next month, according to a news release from the governor’s office.
The California Public Utilities Commission voted last week to streamline the California Climate Credit to help California families with their heating and electric bills.
Residential utility bill customers will receive a $90 to $120 credit starting in March. The credit will apply to customers of PG&E, Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Southern California Gas Co. Additionally, customers of Bear Valley, Liberty, PacifiCorp and Southwest Gas will receive a credit for varying amounts.
On Tuesday, the CPUC and the California Energy Commission were set to host an en banc hearing to “examine the causes and impacts of the recent spike in natural gas prices,” according to the governor’s office.
“Millions of California families are opening their utility bills to sticker shock – and we’re taking action now to provide relief to help with those high gas bills,” Gov. Newsom said. “We know this provides only temporary relief from soaring bills. That’s why I’m asking the federal government to use its full authority to investigate the spike in natural gas prices and take any necessary enforcement actions. We’re going to get to the bottom of this because Californians deserve to know what’s behind these exorbitant bills.”
Californians do not need to take any action to receive their credit. The credit is known as the California Climate Credit. It comes from the state’s cap-and-trade program managed by the California Air Resources Board. The utility bill credit represents the consumer’s share of the revenue generated by the trading program.