Why are Texas oil companies trying to kill California’s Global Warming Solutions Act?

Texas oil companies Valero and Tesoro are funding the campaign for Prop 23, which Californians will vote on this November. Prop 23 is a bill that would stall—possibly indefinitely—the implementation of California’s Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32). The Union of Concerned Scientists explain the motivations driving these oil companies:

With continued lack of climate action at the national level, California’s program stands today as the best model in the country for how to transition to clean energy to fight global warming. That’s why the oil companies are turning their attention—and their cash—to California as their next target.

Why are Texas Oil Companies trying to Kill California’s Clean Energy and Climate Law? Because of California’s innovative, forward thinking clean energy standards, the state has been a hotbed of investment and job creation in the clean tech, renewable energy, and energy efficiency industries. The oil companies who are bankrolling Prop 23 do not want to be required to reduce their emissions, and they do not want to compete with California’s clean energy and clean technology industries.

Which Oil Companies are funding Prop 23? Valero and Tesoro are the two Texas oil companies that have, as of early August, contributed the overwhelming majority of the funds for the dirty energy initiative (more than $4.5 million). Each oil firm owns refineries in California. According to the California Air Resources Board, Valero’s Benicia refinery is California’s eighth largest source global warming pollution. A refinery owned by Tesoro is the state’s tenth largest emitter of global warming pollution.

How is the Dirty Energy Proposition Deceptive? The oil companies claim Prop. 23 would only “suspend” AB 32’s air pollution and health regulations until California’s economy gets better. In fact, the dirty energy proposition would repeal the state’s clean energy regulations until unemployment reached 5.5 percent or less for four consecutive quarters—a market condition that has only occurred three times in the last 30 years. Not only is this purposely deceptive, but it attempts to create a false and unsubstantiated choice between a healthy environment and a healthy economy.

Please visit the Union of Concerned Scientist’s No on Prop 23 page, where they feature many more related articles and resources that inform their position on Prop 23. And join the Ecology Center in voting No on Prop 23. [Photo by Steve Rhodes].

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