Oil giants spend billions on lobbying in California
Environmental legislation challenged by companies
A new report from campaign group Stop Fooling California, reveals how the oil industry had spent US$266 million between 2005-2014 lobbying California's state officials and contributing to political campaigns.
The organisation states that the oil industry was required to disclose lobbying figures every quarter. In the most recent quarter alone (1 July – 30 September 2015), the industry spent US$11.3 million on lobbying.
A spoof video from Stop Fooling California
The 2014 figures show a 129% increase on the previous year. The goal was reported to be to derail plans to include transportation fuels in California’s cap-and-trade programme in 2015.
The website noted that the increase in lobbying coincided with the introduction of AB 32, California’s ground-breaking clean energy law, which was decreasing emissions, strengthening the economy and creating healthier communities potentially at the expense of oil industry profits.
Elsewhere on the website it was reported that a key part of California's climate legislation had to be abandoned, with lawmakers blaming oil industry lobbying.
The report listed a number of companies that have been involved with the lobbying, including:
- Tesoro spent US$488,247 in 2014 alone. Between 2005 and 2014 it spent a total of US$1,025,360.
- Phillips 66 spent US$1,572,027 in 2014 alone. Between 2005 and 2014 it spent a total of US$2,847,226.
- AERA Energy spent US$540,910 in 2014 alone. Between 2005 and 2014 it spent a total of US$3,857,863.
- Chevron spent US$4,282,216 in 2014 alone. Between 2005 and 2014 it spent a total of US$23,442,630.
- ConocoPhillips spent US$18,410 in 2014 alone. Between 2005 and 2014 it spent a total of US$4,315,817.
- Exxon spent US$699,363 in 2014 alone. Between 2005 and 2014 it spent a total of US$4,022,431.
- Occidental spent US$622,950 in 2014 alone. Between 2005 and 2014 it spent a total of US$3,767,853.
- Shell spent US$349,995 in 2014 alone. Between 2005 and 2014 it spent a total of US$4,536,113.
- Valero spent US$587,192 in 2014 alone. Between 2005 and 2014 it spent a total of US$1,377,232.
Lobby group supporters
In addition, all the companies listed above, with the exception of Occidental, were members of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA).
WSPA was responsible for over half of the lobbying dollars spent in California. In the quarter up to September 2015 WSPA spent US$6.8 million out of a total US$11.3 million.
Over the course of the decade 2005 - 2014 WSPA spent a total of US$50.1 million (industry total: US$112.2 million), of which US$8.8 million was spent in 2014 (industry total: US$20.1 million).
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This story was added to the database by Steve Pine, a member of Ethical Consumer's Remote Research Group pilot project.