Western States Petroleum Association Top Spender In 2013

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 4.21.26 PM By Dan Bacher | Feburary 10, 2014

The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the most powerful corporate lobbying organization in Sacramento, spent over $4.67 million, more than any other interest group, while lobbying state government in 2013, according to data released by the Secretary State’s Office and compiled by Capitol Weekly.

 

Viewpoints: Modernize California’s freight transportation system to cut pollution

Screen Shot 2014-01-24 at 4.15.38 PMBy Don Anair and Emiliano Mataka | January 19, 2014

Our economy depends on trucks, trains and ships powered primarily by diesel fuel to move our food, household goods and other commodities in a constant flow throughout California. Unfortunately, freight commerce takes a toll on our health and environment when heavy-duty engines leave noxious fumes in their wake.

Feather in his cap-and-trade: Brown pledges polluter fees to poor communities

Screen shot 2014-01-13 at 11.26.56 AM By Brentin Mock | January 10, 2014

While free-market environmentalists push cap-and-trade systems as a panacea for climate change worries, many in the environmental justice community have yet to buy into it. Their reasons for this vary, but one major concern is that there’s little guarantee that overburdened communities won’t still catch the brunt of industrial pollution. What stops billionaire companies like ExxonMobil from continuing to pollute poor communities if, rather than rein in their emissions under the established cap, they can simply purchase more permits to pollute?

Big Oil Lobby Claims The Industry ‘Gets No Subsidies, Zero, Nothing’

Screen shot 2014-01-15 at 4.49.09 PMBy Rebecca Leber | January 9, 2014

Despite ranking among the most profitable corporations in the world, Big Oil benefits from $4 billion in annual tax breaks. It fights to maintain them through aggressive political donations, lobbying, and heavy ad spending, but also employs another tactic: Pretending these tax breaks don’t exist.

L.A. Doesn’t Wait for AQMD, Sues to Block Neighborhood Oil Wells from Restarting

Screen shot 2014-01-08 at 2.00.51 PMLos Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer sued Allenco Energy Inc.on Tuesday to keep shut oil wells it operates between the University of Southern California and downtown while investigators look into complaints of illness among nearby low-income residents.

Allenco closed the wells in November after Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) called for a suspension of operations. Boxer made her plea after members of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suffered some of the same symptoms as residents during a tour of the facility.

The closure by Allenco was voluntary while it negotiated with the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) for an agreement that would allow its pumping to resume. But a number of critics think the agency has been complacent and unwilling to challenge the company despite 251 complaints over a three-year period and the issuance of 15 citations for various violations. They want something more (pdf) than self-reporting by Allenco on air quality around the site.

Big Oil treated legislators to $13,000 dinner before fracking bill vote

Screen shot 2013-11-11 at 10.12.07 AM By Dan Bacher | November 7, 2013

There’s no doubt that the Western States Petroleum Association, Chevron and other oil companies use every avenue they can to dominate environmental policy in California, including lobbying legislators, contributing heavily to election campaigns, serving on state regulatory panels, and wining and dining politicians. Until we get the big corporate money out of politics, California will continue to be awash in a sea of oil money.

Oil industry treated California legislators to $13K dinner as fracking bill loomed

Screen shot 2013-11-06 at 2.57.01 PM By Laurel Rosenhall | November 4, 2013

As negotiations heated up at the end of the legislative session over a bill to regulate hydraulic fracturing in California, oil companies poured millions into lobbying the Legislature, quarterly reports released last week show.

The three interest groups that spent the most money lobbying in California between July 1 and Sept. 30 were oil and gas companies: Chevron ($1,696,477), the Western States Petroleum Association ($1,269,478) and Aera Energy LLC ($1,015,534), according to filings with the secretary of state.

Nearly $13,000 of the Western States Petroleum Association’s spending went toward hosting a dinner for 12 lawmakers and two staff members at one of Sacramento’s poshest venues: The Kitchen, known for its interactive dining experience where guests sit in the kitchen as cooks share details of the five-course meal. Moderate Democrats seemed to be the target audience for the treat: Assembly members Adam Gray, Henry Perea and Cheryl Brown attended, as did Sens. Norma Torres, Ron Calderon and Lou Correa.

 

Fuel Fight: California Tries to Kick the Oil Habit

Screen shot 2013-10-17 at 2.10.11 PM By Amy Harder | October 16, 2013

LOS ANGELES—Here in the land of perpetually jammed freeways, filling up downtown sets you back $5.09 a gallon. While the national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $3.36, you’d be hard pressed to find anything cheaper than $4 in L.A.

Californians are used to paying some of the highest energy prices in the country, especially in this sprawling city. Not coincidentally, they’re also living in the state most committed to combatting climate change, slashing fossil-fuel consumption, and ramping up renewable energy.

Cracks In The “Fueling California” Coalition: Walmart No Longer Involved

Screen shot 2013-10-14 at 5.01.21 PM

Dana Hull | October 10, 2013 Remember Fueling California, the Chevron-funded group that is lobbying against California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard?

There appear to be some cracks in the organization’s armor. Fueling California’s board of directors once included representatives from United Airlines, Walmart, UPS, Chevron and others. But Fueling California’s website no longer lists the board of directors at all, and Walmart confirmed it is no longer involved.

Viewpoints: Bill focuses on gas price manipulation

Screen shot 2013-09-03 at 5.28.45 PM By Robert McCullough, The Sac Bee
August 31, 2013

California, we have a fuel problem.

Over the past two years, California gas prices have continued to soar, sparking some of the highest prices in the nation.

Oil companies are quick to point the finger at supply and demand, oil markets or the state’s clean air laws as causes for recent spikes, but don’t be fooled. These reasons merely serve as smokescreens to a much larger problem facing consumers at the pump – potential price manipulation.

However, for those concerned about gasoline following the oil price spike over the past few days, there’s possible relief in sight.