This exclusive report by Wonk Room is part of a Progressive Media blogging series on the fossil fuel-funded Prop 23 effort to repeal California’s clean energy climate law. Read more on Prop 23’s economic impact, national repercussions, and funding from Texas oil companies.
Working with veteran tobacco lobbyists in Sacramento, Texan oil companies are orchestrating a campaign to roll back California’s landmark clean energy climate change law, AB 32. So far, the largest donations have came from San Antonio-based Valero, which has ponied up over $1 million for the effort, and refining giant Tesoro, also based in San Antonio, contributing $525,000. Today, the Sacramento Bee reports that state Democrats are asking Attorney General Eric Holder to open an investigation into these donations.
In public, the repeal AB 32 campaign — given the Orwellian moniker “California Jobs Initiative” — says it is about helping low income people, small businesses, and improving the California economy. But behind closed doors, it’s about boosting already sky high oil company profits. According to Valero’s 10-Q corporate disclosure forms, the company views compliance with AB 32 as a risk to their bottom line.
According to a PowerPoint presentation obtained by the Wonk Room, Tesoro has been courting other oil companies to join their crusade to rescind AB 32. At an April 13th presentation to the Western States Petroleum Association, Dave Reed, a Tesoro refinery executive in Los Angeles, pitched his clean energy repeal initiative, Proposition 23. The Western States Petroleum Association is an oil trade group, like the American Petroleum Institute on the national level, that advocates for the interests of their industry, including expanded offshore drilling off California’s coast. The Association is made up of many oil companies operating in California, including BP, ExxonMobil, and Shell Pipeline. Reed’s PowerPoint drives home the message that cleaning the air and diversifying California’s energy sources will have a negative “impact on [Tesoro’s] business.”
So, this “citizen’s” proposition funded by outside companies will prevent needed clean energy-climate change legislation from being put in place until unemployment is less that 5.5%.
UCLA just came out with an economic forecast for California. It has unemployment in California not dropping below 6% until 2018! And that was before the bad jobs report that just came out.
If this Proposition is based, the legislation would be halted for a decade – remember there has to be under 5.5% unemployment for 4 consecutive quarters pushing the deadline very close to 2020.
It will be very, very hard indeed to change our course if California has to twiddle its thumbs for a decade.
This is what happens when corporations are allowed to corrupt our political system. These guys must fail!