Secret Meeting: Oil Company Executives, Lobbyists Plot Against California Clean Air Standards
BURBANK, Calif., Jan. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Oil company executives and lobbyists meet today in Burbank in a private, closed-door meeting, hosted by an industry group calling itself “Fueling California.” The focus of their agenda is how they can secretly dismantle key elements of California’s clean air laws.
“Dirty oil makes the highest profits in the world, period,” states Martha Arguello, with Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles. “Big Oil has been filling its pockets with massive profits while protecting its monopoly on dirty energy that harms Californians’ health, especially in low-income communities of color.”
Fed up with secret strategy meetings like today’s in Burbank, as well as outright attacks on California’s pioneering clean air standards, consumer, health, environmental justice, and renewable energy groups are joining together to endorse the launch of StopFoolingCA.org, a new online and social media public education and awareness campaign. It translates the doublespeak from the oil companies as they attack California’s wildly popular and successful clean air standards while pocketing huge profits.
“Oil companies and their friends are fear mongering like never before. Misleading messages include threats of job losses, economic peril, and price increases are inundating the public as Big Oil and old manufacturing claim they ‘can’t afford’ air quality standards that have been the law-of-the-land for years,” explains Miya Yoshitani, with Asian Pacific Environmental Network.
“Californians of color continue to bear an unfair share of the burdens of our petroleum-fueled economy,” said Bill Gallegos, Communities for a Better Environment. “Last summer’s massive explosion at Chevron’s Richmond Refinery released a toxic cloud that caused widespread breathing problems and sent 15,000 residents from surrounding communities to emergency rooms. Accidents like this are preventable.”
“Governor Brown delivers his ‘State of the State’ today. We hope his agenda includes a vigorous defense of California’s progress in moving away from dependence on petroleum,” said Ken McEldowney, with Consumer Action. “We hope he’ll fight to deliver real consumer choice and pocketbook benefits and foster California’s growth as the leader of America’s clean energy economy; creating jobs and decreasing pollution. The Governor and the Legislature must stand firm in the face of the petroleum industry’s deep-pocketed lobbyists and slick marketing campaigns.”