Big Oil Companies Bankroll Deceptive California Campaign Against Alternative Energy

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has repeatedly stated that he is committed to end his state’s addiction to oil. But Schwarzenegger has refused to support Proposition 87, even though it provides one of the strongest prospects for the state to raise funds for alternative energy research and development.

The initiative would raise the extraction fee on oil pumped in California. Funds raised from Prop. 87 “would be used to finance research and development of alternative fuels in universities; education campaigns; and subsidies to consumers who buy vehicles that use alternative fuels and businesses that produce and distribute alternative fuels.”

Up until now, as New York Times columnist Tom Friedman points out, “oil companies in California have paid a very low extraction fee compared with those in other states — a rip-off they want to keep.” Chevron lobbyist Jack Coffey even admitted that Prop. 87 is “worth a lot of money” to the oil companies. These companies have launched the massive, deceptive “No On 87” campaign to defeat Prop. 87. Some lowlights:

Oil companies have concealed their funding of No On 87. According to No. on 87 campaign ads, “a coalition of taxpayers, educators, public safety officials, businesses, energy producers, Chevron Corporation and Aera Energy LLP” are funding the effort to defeat Prop. 87. But in reality, oil companies are bankrolling more than 99 percent of the $35 million campaign against initiative. Chevron and Aera have contributed more than $25 million.

Oil companies claim that Prop. 87 will force them to raise gas prices. The No On 87 campaign’s website claims that the burden of higher production taxes will force oil companies to raise gas prices for consumers. This claim is false. The head of the American Petroleum Institute recently told Congress “big oil is powerless to control prices at the pump.” Additionally, the California Attorney General has confirmed that Prop. 87 makes it illegal for oil companies to raise gas prices to pass along the cost to consumers.

As President Clinton recently stated, Prop. 87 gives Calfornia and Gov. Schwarzenegger the “opportunity…to do something remarkable to save the planet, improve our national security and create the next generation of good jobs for the American people.” Help support the Yes On 87 Campaign HERE.

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