Gov. Newsom calls for federal investigation into high natural gas prices as utility bills soar

Gov. Newsom calls for federal investigation into high natural gas prices as utility bills soar
California Gov. Gavin Newsom Photo credit Getty Images

Gov. Gavin Newsom called Monday for the federal government to investigate the recent spike in natural gas prices in California as millions of families experience soaring gas utility bills. The state is also promising relief to Californians.


In a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Newsom requested 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."

Additionally, millions of Californians will soon see relief from high utility bills, with credits of $90 to $120 showing up on gas and electric bills as soon as next month.

On Thursday, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) voted to accelerate the California Climate Credit to help California families with high gas bills. The $90-$120 credit will be applied to residential utility customer bills starting in March for customers of PG&E, Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Southern California Gas Company. Customers of Bear Valley, Liberty, PacifiCorp, and Southwest Gas will also receive an accelerated credit of varying amounts.

Tuesday, the CPUC and the California Energy Commission will host an en banc hearing to examine the causes and impacts of the recent spike in natural gas prices.

"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," said Governor Newsom. "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 do anything to get the credit.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Getty Images