Senator Ochoa Bogh Secures Oversight Hearings for High Natural Gas Prices

Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa) is pleased to announce that there will be a public hearing on the affordability of natural gas and other utilities after her efforts to bring accountability to this issue.

Earlier this month, led by Senator Ochoa Bogh, California Senate Republicans delivered letters to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and the chair of the Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities, and Communications to get answers as to why natural gas prices have spiked so dramatically in California the past few months. As a result of those urgent requests, oversight hearings are now scheduled for February and March.

“Constituents in my district have experienced extreme sticker shock upon seeing their utility bills in recent months,” said Ochoa Bogh. “I appreciate that Senator Bradford, who chairs the Senate Energy, Utilities & Communications Committee, agreed with my request and will host oversight hearings on this matter. California’s high costs of housing, gas, and food are too burdensome for many families across our state. These extremely high bills force people to make tough choices, such as: Do I buy medicine, food, or pay the gas bill this month?”

In addition to the letters to the Senate Energy, Utilities and Communications Committee and the CPUC, Sen. Ochoa Bogh has been steadfast in her efforts to help Californians deal with these high costs. Earlier in the month, she called on the CPUC to approve an early disbursement of an annual utility bill credit for Californians, which resulted in Californians receiving a credit in time to offset some of the current high prices.

In a survey of her Senate district conducted in February, Sen. Ochoa Bogh asked her constituents to share how high natural gas bills have affected them. Almost 100% of survey participants reported that their natural gas bills had increased steeply in the last few months, even though they had taken steps to reduce their use of natural gas at home.

Below are some of the comments received from constituents about how the steep rate increase has affected them:

  • “I'm a senior citizen. My bill increased over $100 in 1 month. I'm on a budget and have a lifeline with reduced rates. I cannot afford a $100 increase in one month. I have never had a gas bill this high.”
  • “I will not be able to retire this year... my bill went from $75 to $480 with no warning.”
  • “Our gas bill increased 1000% since last year. Food and gasoline prices are sky rocketing. This effects everything.”
  • “Hard. As my husband just lost his job, too.”
  • “Forced us to make tough choices about either heating our home or getting groceries, etc. Very tough for myself and so many others in an already tough economic time.”
  • “With higher energy costs, my family and I must not only choose between meat and medicine, but also between heat and hospital (doctor) visits and the costs associated with them.”