Disappearing Data Reveals Record Oil Refining Profits

Considering Big Oil's power in Sacramento, if the evidence showing that refiners are making record profits suddenly disappears from a government website, it’s unlikely to be a coincidence.
The California Energy Commission is a state agency that monitors the petroleum industry in the state. Though it has no regulatory power, it does provide some transparency by compiling data for the public and lawmakers that breaks down exactly where each cent in the price of gasoline goes and posting it online. But for nearly nine months, nothing was updated. 
When the page was finally brought back online, the results were shocking, showing refiners receiving more per gallon of gasoline than they ever had.

After reporting the price breakdown since the '90s, the CEC stopped posting the data in August 2014. That was when the price of crude oil dropped below $50 for the first time since the 2008 crash. Despite crude oil costing half as much as it did before, prices in California remained high. But without the data, the public was unable to know that refiners were making record margins for every gallon of gasoline.
In Los Angeles, gas per gallon is a dollar more than the rest of the nation. When the price of gasoline rises, consumers rightfully become curious about why those prices are rising. Where is the extra money going? Is it to the price of crude oil, to taxes, or is the money going to the bank accounts of modern oil barons?
During the greatest gasoline price crisis this state has seen since the oil embargo, the CEC decided this important information wasn’t a priority. It was only after Consumer Watchdog started asking questions did the CEC eventually post the updated information. 
A cursory look at the data showed that for the first time ever, in July, refiners were making $1.61 per gallon. That’s almost triple their average margin of 48 cents per gallon.
In the past, the CEC had a close relationship with the oil industry - former Chairman James Boyd was married to Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the president of the California oil lobby, the Western States Petroleum Association while he was on the commission. We thought the nature of the CEC's realtionship with big oil had changed, but dissapearing data on refining profits makes you wonder.

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