SACRAMENTO October 12, 2017 – Just three months after California Attorney General Xavier Becerra challenged a proposed asset sale that could lead to higher gas prices for consumers in California, a state court has signed a final judgment prohibiting Valero Energy Corporation from acquiring from Plains All American Pipeline the last independent petroleum distribution terminals for 10 years.
“While it was welcome news that Valero abandoned its takeover plans last month, today’s announcement goes even further to ensure competition in the marketplace and to prevent monopolies,” said Attorney General Becerra. “The Valero takeover could have led to higher prices at the pump for Californians. Today’s judgment puts a stop to that. And it sends a strong message: California will protect its consumers and competition so that our State’s economy – the sixth largest in the world – can thrive.”
The judgment signed today prohibits oil giant Valero Energy Corporation, Valero Energy Partners LP, and any subsidiary, affiliate, or entity under their control from acquiring or seeking to acquire the critical petroleum distribution infrastructure in Martinez and Richmond, California, owned by a subsidiary of Plains All American Pipeline for 10 years. If changed circumstances warrant a modification to that prohibition in the future, the Valero entities will be required to notify the California Attorney General if they attempt to acquire the Martinez or Richmond facilities.
Had the transaction between Valero and Plains been allowed to proceed, all three critical independent oil distribution terminals in Northern California would be operated by giant oil companies. These oil producers would have the interest and opportunity to coordinate and control access to the terminals and the flow of petroleum from them.