Category Archives: Big Oil

We will never back down from Benicia’s Big Oil bullies

By Roger Straw, March 4, 2020

Here in Benicia, Big Oil is already setting aside funds to stack our City Council in November.  See Valero PAC report shows $248,111 on hand to influence Benicia’s 2020 election.

As a followup to yesterday’s post, “Wave of oil money hits local Calif. climate candidates” – I am passing on a rather happy email from the California League of Conservation Voters (below).

Please consider supporting the CLCV.

We took on Big Oil and Won!

 

The results of the California Primary speak loud and clear: Californians chose the environment over Big Oil.

Even though Big Oil spent millions of dollars this primary, California voters rejected their best efforts and 95% of CLCV-endorsed candidates are moving on to the General Election in November!

Click here to join our movement, and support our work in the General Election >>>

Through our endorsements, our Environmental Scorecard, and joining forces with key partners in spending strategically in priority races, CLCV is on the front-lines, making sure environmental champions are heading to the November General Election.

Heading into the general election, Big Oil will amplify their efforts to stop our progress. We have a tough fight ahead of us in the fall, but we never back down from bullies – even if it means we are outspent by millions of dollars. Can you chip in today to make sure we can be just as effective come November?

In Solidarity,

Mary Creasman
CEO
California League of Conservation Voters

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    Benicia Rep. Grayson: How will he thank corporate oil for large campaign donations?

    By Roger Straw, August 14, 2019

    Tim Grayson, 14th California Assembly District

    Tim Grayson is Benicia’s Representative in the California State Assembly.  First elected in 2016 and re-elected in 2018, he has begun campaigning for a final term in 2020.  The primary election is set for March 3, and Tim is well on his way to a huge advantage, having raised over $285,000 in the first half of 2019.

    An August 14 report in the Vallejo Times-Herald detailed Grayson’s 2019 campaign contributors , including that he “received donations from several petroleum and energy resources businesses, including Valero Services, Inc. ($2,000)….”

    Valero wasn’t alone.  The following Big Oil & Energy companies were generous to Tim this year:

    OIL OR GAS COMPANY AMOUNT
    Chevron Corporation and its Subsidiaries/Affiliates $4,700
    Valero Services, Inc. $2,000
    Tesoro Companies, Inc. $1,000
    Signal Hill Petroleum, Inc. $1,000
    Seneca Resources Company, LLC $1,000
    Phillips 66 Company, LLC $1,000
    PBF Holding Company, LLC $1,500
    Macpherson Oil Company $1,500
    E & B Natural Resources Management Corporation $2,000
    California Independent Petroleum Association PAC
    (Note: Vallejo Times-Herald reported only $2,500, but there were 2 additional non-monetary donations, totaling $4,650)
    ($4,650)
    TOTAL FROM OIL & ENERGY $20,350

    I created a downloadable excel spreadsheet listing of all of Grayson’s 2019 contributions (source: California Secretary of State).

    Bill Dodd, 3rd California Senate District

    It is interesting to compare Grayson’s war chest with that of Benicia’s State Senator, Bill Dodd.  According to the California Secretary of State, Dodd has taken ZERO DOLLARS from the oil & energy industry in 2019.  Here’s Dodd’s downloadable excel spreadsheet.

    Both of Benicia’s representatives have already taken in huge amounts for their re-election in 2020: Grayson over $285,000 and Dodd over $330,000.  Both have received contributions from a wide variety of corporate and organizational interest groups, including many political action committees (PACs).

    It is a fair question to ask, how will our representatives in Sacramento thank their big donors?

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      After Paris agreement, big oil and gas companies invested $110 billion in fossil fuels

      Repost from CBS NEWS Moneywatch

      By Irina Ivanova, March 25, 2019 / 6:00 AM

      In the three years since most of the world’s nations signed on to the Paris climate agreement, major oil and gas companies have poured more than $100 billion into their fossil-fuel infrastructure. That’s more than 10 times the amount the same companies have spent on low-carbon investments, despite lip service toward that area, according to a new report.

      InfluenceMap analyzed public disclosures of major oil and gas companies. The five biggest—ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, BP and Total—will collectively spend $115 billion on capital investments this year, according to the report. Just 3 percent of that spending will go to low-carbon investments, like hydrogen batteries or electric-car charging stations.

      InfluenceMap contrasts this with the money the companies spent on “branding and lobbying” related to climate, which cost the oil and gas giants $1 billion since the end of 2015, per the report. That includes money spent directly as well as through trade groups that oppose carbon restrictions, including the American Petroleum Institute and American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers.

      “The aim is to maintain public support on the issue while holding back binding policy,” the report says. The spending shows “the increasing disconnect between the oil majors’ efforts towards positive climate branding and their lobbying and actual business decisions,” it reads.

      BP last year put $13 million toward defeating a carbon pricing proposal in Washington State. Exxon stated it would support a carbon tax, provided that the tax wouldn’t raise any government money and would offer immunity in climate-change lawsuits, of which there are many. At the same time, Exxon ran extensive social media ads promoting oil and gas development and opposing restrictions on fossil fuels.

      That’s significant because scientists have given the world a roughly 10-year window to rapidly move off fossil fuels if it is to avoid catastrophic levels of warming, according to the United Nations’ climate change panel and the U.S. federal government. Recognizing this, oil and gas companies have devoted more attention to low-carbon rhetoric, though InfluenceMap notes there’s a lack of money backing the investment in alternatives.

      The U.S. dramatically ramped up its oil and gas production last year, becoming the world’s top producer of oil for the first time in four decades. The extraction industry is projected to expand by more than 6 percent this year, analysts say.

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        Trump shielded Big Oil from government shutdown effects

        Repost from the San Jose Mercury News

        Administration brought back furloughed employees to plan for radically expanding offshore oil and gas drilling

        By MARY CREASMAN, January 27, 2019 at 7:15 am, updated January 28, 2019 at 4:16 am
        Tug boats transport an oil platform, in this photograph taken above Ingleside, Texas, on May 5, 2017. | Eddie Seal/Bloomberg News

        President Trump’s government shutdown held our communities hostage over a racist and environmentally destructive border wall.

        Hundreds of thousands of federal workers were forced to go without paychecks while the bills piled up. (How long could you go without a paycheck?) Our national parks suffered what could be permanent damage. Public health protections and safeguards against pollution were put on hold.

        But one industry continued with business as usual — oil and gas.

        During the shutdown, Acting Interior Secretary and former oil lobbyist David Bernhardt brought back furloughed employees to continue working on plans to radically expand offshore oil and gas drilling.

        Leasing our oceans to polluters is apparently an “essential” function for this administration. As drafted, the plans would open nearly all of our nation’s coasts to oil and gas drilling, including California’s shoreline — where there have been no federal lease sales since 1984.

        The offshore drilling expansion itself is unacceptable, but the fact that the Trump administration prioritized work on it during the shutdown is a slap in the face to the furloughed federal employees and all Californians who care about our beaches and healthy oceans.

        And the Interior Department’s efforts to advance offshore drilling wasn’t Trump’s only effort to keep the oil and gas industry happy despite the shutdown.

        While thousands of other government employees were furloughed, the Trump administration was quietly moving ahead with its efforts to advance drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Western Arctic region of Alaska.

        Similarly, even as national parks remained largely unstaffed, the Bureau of Land Management, an agency in the Interior Department, moved forward on 22 new drilling permit applications on public lands in Alaska, North Dakota, New Mexico and Oklahoma.

        This blatant catering to the oil industry is unprecedented. The shutdown was so good for Big Oil that the head of the American Petroleum Institute — the oil industry’s main trade association — admitted they “have not seen any major effects of the shutdown on our industry.”

        That statement contrasts deeply with the harm imposed elsewhere by the shutdown. Here in California, communities suffering from drinking water contamination had to wait for the EPA to reopen for action on toxic chemicals.

        Overflowing trash bins and toilets, permanent vandalism and destruction left lasting damage on our national parks, and these places had to rely on volunteers to fill the gaps while federal workers and contractors were forced off the job. Joshua Tree National Park, for example, saw visitors chopping down iconic Joshua trees, illegal off-roading and graffiti — and the Park Service didn’t have staff to investigate.

        These misplaced priorities should not come as a surprise given the Trump administration’s efforts, from Day 1, to sell our public lands and waters to Big Oil and other corporate polluters. The administration is stacked with industry executives focused on profits over people.

        Our environment and our communities deserved better than the needless damage inflicted by the Trump shutdown. Thankfully, we have representatives in Congress who will fight to protect our coast.

        Reps. Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, and Salud Carbajal, D-Santa Barbara, have introduced legislation that would preserve California’s coast from the Trump administration’s drilling expansion. And California voters decisively sent a bold and pro-environment freshman class to the House of Representatives to stand up to Trump’s toxic agenda.

        The Trump administration is shameless about its agenda to ruin our environment and poison our families, all to ensure more corporate profits. But California is paying attention, and we won’t let it happen.

        Mary Creasman is CEO of the California League of Conservation Voters.
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