For Immediate Release
February 5, 2013
Bill Gallegos, Communities for a Better Environment – 323.573.5310
Miya Yoshitani, Asian Pacific Environmental Network – 510.147.1775
Ruben Aronin, The Better World Group – 310.612.5663
Oil Industry Fuels California Lobbyists
Big Oil spends record amounts on lobbying
to derail clean air laws, says Stop Fooling CA
February 5, 2013 – New lobbying data shows Big Oil and friends spent more than $25.5 million lobbying in California in 2012, a new record for interest group lobbying efforts.
The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), California Chamber of Commerce, Chevron Corp. and California Manufacturers and Technology Association (CMTA) all made the top 10 special interest groups that spent the most on lobbying, according to records accessed through the California Secretary of State web site.
The lobbying efforts by these entities is just one more step in the long history of the oil industry and old manufacturing interests spending millions to fool Californians, claiming they ‘can’t afford’ clean air standards all the while pocketing record profits.
In 2010, CMTA and WSPA were at the helm of a failed multi-million dollar campaign to derail California’s clean energy and clean air standards, known as AB 32.
“Frankly, Californians shouldn’t be surprised at these record-breaking lobbying efforts. Oil companies and their friends have increased their fear mongering in the past year, doing whatever it takes to protect their monopoly and keep all of us dependent on oil,” said Bill Gallegos, Executive Director of Communities for a Better Environment, an endorsing organization of Stop Fooling CA.
Despite economic evidence to the contrary, oil companies are spending record amounts of money lobbying the California Legislature, commissioning and releasing oil industry-funded economic analyses, and spreading misinformation to overturn clean air standards.
Just last month Fueling California, a political organization purporting to represent corporate fuel customers, held a closed-door meeting to discuss how to dismantle key elements of California’s clean air laws. In the past year alone, Fueling California spent $282,620, largely against the state’s clean fuel standard according to a recent Mercury News article.
“It’s time Californians took a stand to say enough is enough. We consumers spent $60 million at the pump in 2011, while the oil industry raked in $21.4 million in federal tax breaks per day and spent $25 million lobbying last year,” said Ken McEldowney, Executive Director of Consumer Action, another Stop Fooling CA endorsing organization. McEldowney continued, “The era of fooling Californians is over. We want cleaner air and we all know the oil companies can afford to comply with state standards.”
California’s leading public health, consumer, social justice and environmental advocates are putting the spotlight on the oil industry’s big profits and empty economic threats as part of the Stop Fooling CA campaign.
About Stop Fooling California: StopFoolingCA (www.stopfoolingca.org) is an online and social media public education and awareness campaign that highlights oil companies’ efforts to mislead and confuse Californians.