The easiest way to stay up-to-date on all of the oil industry's slimy, polluting and oily news in California.
Polluting our Politics
Oil industry spends millions to sabotage California's effort to cut its oil habit by 50% in 2050. Guess they are not satisfied with just polluting our air, they've got to pollute our politics too.
But this is no Big Oil victory. Gov. Jerry Brown is “more determined than ever” to reduce the state’s reliance on oil.
The oil industry loves to use front groups to disseminate deceitful information about environmental protections. The Western States Petroleum Association could teach the tobacco industry a thing or two about front groups.
Vox reminds us of a classic oil industry tactic: their modus operandi is to use front groups with names like Californians for Affordable and Reliable Electricity and California Drivers Alliance to do their bidding, protecting their profits at the expense of the people.
The oil industry knows what money can buy. Last year the Western States Petroleum Association spent $8.9 million on lobbying in California. In the first six months of this year, oil lobbyists have already spent another $6.2 million.
But not all oil profits get poured into politics. Executives of large fossil fuel companies walk away with a hefty chunk of change at the end of each year. According to a study from the Institute for Policy Studies, CEOs from the 30 largest oil, gas and coal companies average $14.7 million a year in compensation.
As the number of oil trains moving across the country increases, the safety risks are becoming clearer to both communities and regulators. An analysis by the Center for Biological Diversity revealed that 1 million California students are currently attending schools within a mile of oil-by-rail tracks.
In the face of these statistics, communities are growing anxious. Residents in cities like Pismo Beach pack into Council chambers for hearings about the Phillips 66 rail proposal in order to express their fears and safety concerns.
Stinky Oil: South Coast Air Quality Management District board enforces new regulations mandating oil field operators to control orders and improve air quality. It’s official: Big Oil stinks.
Water, Water Everywhere: 30 California oil companies are faced with $4,500 fines after refusing to report data about their water usage. Good thing we’re not in the middle of a drought or anything.
Oil Spills: The oil industry found a new target for oil spills. An oil barge damaged in a collision leaked more than 120 thousand gallons of oil into the Mississippi River, forcing officials to shutdown a 17-mile stretch of the river.
It's Organic: US Department of Agriculture standards for organic foods do not allow the use of petroleum-based fertilizers. But that doesn’t mean that your fresh organic vegetables haven’t been watered with the oil industry’s petroleum-tainted wastewater. How tasty.