Thursday, February 12, 2015

Maybe the Western States Petroleum Association should take a cue from the CEO of Shell?

The Western States Petroleum Assocation has been spending big on lobbying in California:
The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) topped the oil industry spending with a total of $31,179,039 spent on lobbying since January 1, 2009 at the time of Barrett’s report. Chevron was second in lobbying expenses with a total of $15,542,565 spent during the same period.

From July 1 to September 30 alone, the oil industry spent an unprecedented $7.1 million lobbying elected officials in California “with a major focus on getting oil companies out of a major clean air regulation,” said Barrett.
The "major clean air regulation in question is AB32, the 2006 law that allowed the California Air Resources Board to establish a cap-and-trade program that caps allowable carbon emissions and requires polluters to purchase credits from the state. It's a focus for oil companies now because AB32 was implemented gradually: at first, the credit purchase requirement only applied to stationary emitters. But on January 1 of this year, wholesalers of liquid fuels became subject to the program, causing oil companies to go all-in to try to get the program delayed or repealed.

So far, they have very little to show for their efforts. And if the CEO of Shell has his way, they'll stop trying:
“You cannot talk credibly about lowering emissions globally if, for example, you are slow to acknowledge climate change; if you undermine calls for an effective carbon price; and if you always descend into the ‘jobs versus environment’ argument in the public debate,” Mr. van Beurden plans to say.
Now, I'm not normally the type of person to go around thanking a big oil CEO, but credit goes where credit is due here. It's time for the oil lobby to stop externalizing the cost of their pollution. It's time for them to stop creating a false dichotomy between the environment and jobs. And it's time for them to acknowledge their role in climate change and work to minimize it. Let's hope WSPA is listening in.

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