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Published on April 21st, 2010 | by Susan Kraemer

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Texas Oil Companies Double Spending to Make California Voters Kill Their Climate Bill

April 21st, 2010 by  


This November, Texas oil companies hope to dupe California voters into repealing their own clean energy bill; AB32. The oil companies’ ballot measure had $966,000 in funding up through the end of March. Now they have doubled that, bringing the total to $1.9 million – supposedly to save California jobs.

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Among the most recent additions, one mysterious conservative front group from Missouri – with only $30,000 in funding – somehow mustered $498,000 to save California from itself. But an in-state oil company, LA-based Occidental Petroleum openly added its own $300,000 on Friday.

As of the end of March, 89% of the funding has come from the oil industry, with nearly three quarters of that just from Texas oil companies. The petition gathering is being handled through The Tea Party, another (perhaps unwitting) front group for the fossil energy industry, as a subsidiary of Freedomworks, the Dick Army (mostly energy) lobbying group.

It is sure to increase voter turnout this November.


The Texas oil industry dubbed its false flag ballot initiative “The California Jobs Initiative” – as with the Luntzian “Healthy Forests Initiative.” If it passes in November, it would roll back implementing AB32 pretty much until pigs fly: or “until the jobs rate falls under 5%”.

California’s total unemployment is about 12%, driven by farm and construction unemployment. Central valley farm-worker unemployment is now 17%. Only the construction industry contributes more to California unemployment levels; about 27%.

This should make the primaries and mid terms this November interesting. As Schwarzenegger’s term ends, Republicans Meg Whitman and Steve Poisner battle each other to be the more allied with the oil industry on the anti-clean economy initiative.

Only second time gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown (D) supports AB32. His original term as Governor marked California’s first clean energy boom. He accurately renamed the ballot initiative petition; as shown above, despite threats by the oil companies to sue. Clarifying ballot initiatives is one of his responsibilities as Attorney General.

The California legislature that drew up AB32 has a Democratic majority. On Sunday, the California Democratic Party convention voted to include language in its platform saying, “To safeguard our cherished environment, California Democrats will oppose any attempt to roll back or weaken the state’s landmark Global Warming Solutions Act.”

Oil is not a growing industry in California. Clean energy technology is a growing industry sector, and most Californians support AB32. Green energy jobs would only increase more under AB32, and are now one of the few drivers of job growth in California. Reputable studies, like the CARB study, have found that California jobs are not threatened by a clean energy economy. On the contrary. The solar industry alone, which is mostly based in California, added 17,000 jobs last year.

Image: The petition as reworded by Jerry Brown and The Tea Party site promoting it

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About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today and Renewable Energy World.  She has also been published at Wind Energy Update, Solar Plaza, Earthtechling PV-Insider , and GreenProphet, Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.



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