Oil Companies Fund Stealth Attack on Clean Energy and Climate Law; Public Interest Advocates Push Back

Last Wednesday, the New York Times reported that two Texas-based refinery giants have stepped forward to fund signature gathering for a ballot initiative to suspend AB 32, California’s landmark clean energy and global warming law.

Valero Energy Corp. and Tesoro Corp. have pledged as much as $2 million for the effort. Despite the state’s rigorous campaign disclosure laws, none of the funds have been publicly reported. However, the oil companies acknowledged that they have secured PR firm Goddard Claussen, notorious for their “Harry and Louise” ads that attacked President Clinton’s health care reform initiative in the early 1990s.

Even with a slick advertising campaign, Valero and Tesoro are going to have a hard time avoiding the spotlight. This morning a coalition of environmental and clean energy advocates protested outside a Sacramento Valero gas station to highlight the company’s attempt to buy their way out of the state’s new law. More efforts are planned for Valero retail outlets throughout northern California.

While it’s not surprising that these two companies would try to duck out of requirements to reduce the amount that they pollute – their four refineries in California are responsible for 16.7% of all reported greenhouse gas emissions in the state – it’s shocking to see how much damage their efforts would cause. By derailing AB 32, their initiative would kill hundreds of thousands of jobs in our rapidly-growing clean energy and green tech sector, chill billions of dollars of investments in clean technology companies, and prevent millions of Californians from breathing cleaner air.

It’s up to us to stop these out-of-state polluters from damaging California’s future. To get involved, visit http://www.NoOnValero.com.