Former California assemblyman Henry Perea just got a new gig at the Western States Petroleum Association, a Big Oil trade association and arguably the most powerful lobbyist in the state of California.

This is a big deal, but it’s not a big surprise.

Let’s take a trip in the way back machine.

The year is 2015. California is considering a bill that sets the most aggressive targets for reducing petroleum use, a measure that would improve public health, boost our economy, and and put California on the path to a healthier climate. The bill, S.B. …

Oil-friendly democrats received 2.5 times more in gifts from oil interests, based on gift disclosures from 2012–2016

California’s legislators received $253,771.98 in 2016 in free trips, dinners, and hotel stays from groups at least partly funded by or affiliated with companies from the oil and gas sector, according to legislators’ financial disclosure forms released last week and analyzed by the Energy and Policy Institute, a pro-clean energy watchdog organization. Stop Fooling California, a public education campaign that focuses on the oil industry in California, released the analysis.

The analysis shows a correlation between higher gift values from Big Oil and friendlier votes from so-called “moderate democrats,” i.e. Oily Dems. The Oily Dems who voted for Big Oil interests received an average of $3,685 per year in gifts while in office between 2012 and 2016. That value was 2.5 …

Few people realize that Los Angeles was built on an oil field, and fewer understand how much urban oil extractions impact those who live next door.

Our #BadNeighbors series aims to change that. We told you about how the most vulnerable communities shoulder a disproportionate amount of the health burdens from oil wells. But there’s more to the story.

In our two new videos, we talked to kids from Wilmington about how living next door to an oil derrick damages their health. Then they told us about how they organized and fought back.

Watch, share, and spread the world. Check out our full #BadNeighbors series here. …

California is one of the largest producers of oil in the U.S. And one of our largest oil fields is located directly under our largest metropolitan area: Los Angeles. That’s a problem, because oil extraction is a messy, nasty business that causes health problems in surrounding communities. And, disproportionately, the communities impacted are our most vulnerable — low-income and communities of color.

This week we’ve launched the first video in our five-video series, #BadNeighbors. Watch, enjoy, share, and help get the word out about this insane practice.

Help us spread the word:

  • 91% of the Angelenos who live within a quarter mile of oil wells are people of color. #BadNeighbors @StopFoolingCA https://youtu.be/Aa62mFiKL6s

Want our newsletter delivered directly to your inbox? Subscribe here.

What. A. Week.

We’re only one week into Trump’s America and it’s beginning to feel like everything we hold dear is at stake, and, well, it sort of is. Case in point: California’s ability to decide what’s best for our own public health.

Wait… back up

Last Thursday, during Scott Pruitt’s (aka #PollutingPruitt) confirmation hearing to become head of the Environmental Protection Agency, he refused to commit to allow California to continue crafting its own air emissions standards. Hint: For nearly 50 years, California has maintained the right to set emissions standards stricter than federal standards. …

Image for post
Image for post

We’ve been noticing some changes to climate and science-related public databases and voices. And by ‘changes,’ we mean censorship. That’s bad for our health, economy, children and democracy.

If you’ve had trouble keeping up, fear not. We’re keeping a list for you (let us know if we’re forgetting any at Stop Fooling CA!):

Dec. 10, 2016

Donald Trump’s transition team circulated a 74-part questionnaire at the Department for Energy that requests the names of employees who have attended climate talks over the last five years. The U.S. Energy Department refused to comply.

Jan. 20, 2017

At noon, as soon as Donald Trump took office, the White House website was scrubbed of any mention of climate change. …

This week, we watched CSPAN in disbelief, viewing something we never thought we’d see: Rex “T-Rex” Tillerson, recent CEO of global oil giant ExxonMobil, speaking in front of senators, with the words “Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State Nominee” written on the screen.

It felt like something that would better fit a sci-fi thriller. Or a horror film. Or the prologue to the Hunger Games. But it is real life, and it happened.

Few have been a greater threat to a safe climate future than T-Rex, who held an executive role at Exxon during one of the largest misinformation campaigns in history — which confused the public and politicians for decades — to protect the profits of his company at the expense of all of humanity. …

As the year comes to an end, we take a look back at the oil industry’s greatest hits in California.

1. We didn’t start the fire. But Torrance did.

Image for post
Image for post

The Torrance Refinery has an excessive flaring problem. In fact, its flaring problem is so bad it had to have a talking to from local air quality regulators this fall. In 2016, the refinery had three serious flaring incidents, each caused by a power outage. (When the power goes out, the refinery can’t refine and, in order to avoid a dangerous build up, they burn off excess fuel — at the expense of the air and community.)

Subscribe to our newsletter to get these biweekly posts straight to your inbox.

Last week, the California Democratic Party announced it would stop accepting political donations from the oil industry (for now). And that’s kind of a BFD, because the oil industry has been polluting California’s politics as much as it’s been polluting our air. Chevron, Valero, Tesoro and California Resources Corp. have given nearly $6.9 million since mid-2015 to three independent expenditure committees that support business-friendly candidates.

Details on how cutting ties will work are TBD, but we think it’s a fab idea.

HAVE YOU HEARD? AMERICA ELECTED A NEW PRESIDENT.

Donald Trump will be the first climate-denying president ever and is currently the only climate-denying leader of a major industrialized nation. (We always knew America was exceptional.) Even George W. Bush had a reasonable view on climate change.

That’s bad news for the climate and good news for Big Oil. Trump’s inner circle is teeming with Big Oil peeps. We want you to know about them. Think of it as a warm-up for the upcoming four years of environmental outrage.

MYRON EBELL

Image for post
Image for post

The man heading up Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency transition team is more than just a climate skeptic — he wrote the book on climate denial. Literally. In 1998, Ebell was listed as one of the authors in the Global Climate Science Communications Plan, a document outlining how the oil industry can undermine the public’s trust in climate science. …

About

Stop Fooling CA

Awareness campaign highlighting oil companies' efforts to mislead Californians on clean air laws. It’s time for Big Oil to #StopFoolingCA http://www.stopfoolingca.org

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store