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.

 

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.

 

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.

Transparency in fuel pricing long overdue

By Robert McCullough

5 dollar gas

Gas prices spiked to $5.39 a gallon in Los Angeles this summer.

It’s no secret Californians pay some of the highest gas prices in the nation.  And even though consumers and the economy have just gotten over last year’s historic gas prices, another spike seems to be knocking on our door. For more than 20 years I have focused on creating efficient energy markets – ranging from helping the prosecution of Enron executives to working on market manipulation issues across the U.S. and Canada. Over the past 18 months California gasoline prices have spiked repeatedly – with little relationship to world oil prices, or supply and demand.

Major oil companies are quick to point the finger at things that are out of their control. Unrest in far-off governments or unexpected refinery shutdowns are common scapegoats. Environmental regulations that keep them from polluting the air and water, for example, are also common themes. The truth of it though, these are just convenient excuses that hide other, potentially sinister, reasons.

 

Scientific Review Finds Fatal Flaws with Oil Industry Study of AB32

An independent panel of scientific experts today reaffirmed that an oil industry association’s study of California’s landmark clean energy law (AB32), in particular the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, was flawed on a number of fronts, saying it did not “include a full accounting of the economic impacts, or the health and welfare impacts of the legislation on the broader population and economy of the state,” such as “positive effects on the health and welfare of the citizens of California that could result from the implementation of AB32.”

EVALUATING BCG’S REPORT: UNDERSTANDING THE IMPACTS OF AB32

The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers contracted with the Policy Institute to facilitate an expert evaluation of the report “Understanding the Impacts of AB32” and the subsequent analysis “BCG and CARB LCFS Models: Review of impact of assumptions in three different areas”. These original reports were funded by WSPA and produced by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).

The stated scope and goals of the BCG report are as follows:

“We analyzed the likely impact of AB32 fuels policies on emissions and refining economics using proprietary BCG models. We then developed a framework to assess how these changes are likely to impact California’s economy along key dimensions including employment, government revenues, and GHG emissions.”

LCFS review drubs oil industry report: top 10 quotes

If you have been following events in California, oil refiners have been waging a well-funded war on California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard, which requires oil companies to reduce the carbon pollution from gasoline and diesel by 10 percent by 2020.

Centerpiece in their strategy was a June 2012 report from Boston Consulting Group (funded by the Western States Petroleum Association) that concluded that a full and continued implementation of the LCFS would leave refiners “no other option but to refuse to supply the United State’s largest transportation fuels market or to simply shut-down.”

Southern California air regulators adopt fracking rules

In the absence of statewide regulations for hydraulic fracturing, Southern California air-quality officials have enacted their own reporting rules for the controversial extraction process driving the country’s oil and gas boom.

On Friday, the governing board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District adopted a rulethat requires oil companies to notify the air agency 10 days to 24 hours before beginning drilling operations, including “fracking,” which involves injecting large volumes of chemical-laced water and sand deep into the ground to break apart rock and release oil.