Attorney General Bonta Issues Statement as Court Decision Moves Case Against Multinational Gas Firms Forward

Monday, March 21, 2022
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OAKLAND - California Attorney General Rob Bonta today issued a statement following a decision by the First District Court of Appeal rejecting SK Trading’s request to be dismissed as a defendant for lack of jurisdiction in ongoing litigation against SK Energy Americas and Vitol. The California Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in 2020 alleging that the multinational gasoline firms took advantage of market disruption following a 2015 explosion at a gasoline refinery in Torrance, California to drive up gas prices for their own profit.

"Today's decision brings us one step closer to holding SK Energy Americas, SK Trading International, and Vitol accountable for a price-fixing scheme that drove up the price of gas and cost consumers at the pump," said Attorney General Bonta. "Market manipulation is illegal and unacceptable, particularly during times of crisis. As we find ourselves in another period of market disruption, my office is monitoring the market closely, and we will not hesitate to take action if we find companies violating the law."  

On Friday, Attorney General Bonta sent a letter to refineries active in the California market warning them against illegal market manipulation and other violations of state antitrust laws.  

A copy of the decision can be found here

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