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Officials Call For State To Investigate Hidden Gas Fees Paid By Drivers

Mike Colgan
January 30, 2019 - 8:27 am

A group of Democratic state lawmakers are calling for an investigation into why California drivers have been inexplicably paying an extra 20 cents or more per gallon of gasoline for years. 

The phantom fee was discovered in 2017 by UC-Berkeley economist Severin Borenstein, who said that it has been in place since 2015.

But finding out how it got there has eluded officials. Drivers have paid $17 billion more at the gas pump than what they should have, according to state Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo). 

"No one can explain what that amount is in the cost of fuel," said Hill. He's part of the group of 19 officials who sent a letter on Monday demanding that the state Department of Justice launch a probe into the hidden charge. 

The letter was reported by the Bay Area News Group

"This does add to the skepticism and it does add to the concern that we are paying so much and not getting our money's worth for our gas costs and the taxes we're paying," said Hill. "I think we need to be vigilant and find out where every penny goes."

California drivers pay the highest average price for gas in the country. Voters in November rejected a proposition that would repeal a recent gas tax that's supposed to fund transportation projects around the state.