Cap-and-trade: Big oil continues to praise Jerry Brown’s supposedly green bill

  • Published on August 5th, 2017

How should we judge the environmental impact of California Governor Jerry Brown’s latest green “victory”, his cap-and-trade extension? Hint: If big oil loves it, how green can it be? 

By Dan Bacher California cap and trade infographic from KQED by Andy Warner

Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) and former Chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create faux “marine protected areas” in Southern California, issued a statement praising Governor Jerry Brown’s controversial cap and trade bill after it passed through the legislature last month.

“The bipartisan cap-and trade package passed this week is the best, most balanced way for California to comply with state law requiring reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions,” said Reheis-Boyd.

She also claimed, “This significantly reformed cap-and-trade program presents the best available path forward for our industry in the toughest regulatory environment in the world.”

However, Reheis-Boyd failed to mention that the “visionary” legislation was based on a WSPA and Chevron wish list that gives loopholes and tax breaks to corporate polluters that could actually result in more, not less, emissions.

Background: Cap and Trade: “Yes, this deal sucks, but we need to pass something. Anything.”

She also failed to mention that Big Oil spent over $10.8 million in lobbying in the second quarter of 2017 to ramrod the bill, opposed by over 65 environmental justice, conservation and consumer groups, through the Legislature.

The San Ramon-based Chevron and subsidiaries topped all other lobbyists in the state with $6,153,952 spent, followed by the Sacramento-based WSPA with $2,528,751 and the San Antonio-based Tesoro Refining and Marketing Co. LLC with $2,193.489.

Background: Big Oil spent $10.8 million to pass Jerry Brown’s cap-and-trade bill

Here is Reheis-Boyd’s complete statement on the cap-and-trade bill. Enjoy:

“Last year, when California policymakers established the world’s most stringent 2030 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions goal, all knew that achieving it would be difficult, technologically challenging, and would require bipartisan leadership.

“The bipartisan cap-and trade package passed this week is the best, most balanced way for California to comply with state law requiring reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

“As lawmakers considered the options, cap-and-trade was not the only proposed mechanism that could have been imposed to ensure California’s compliance with the law.  Much more expensive ‘command and control’ programs were also on the table.  These draconian programs would have forced businesses to make drastic changes, imposing strict regulations without any flexibility in implementation.   The result would have been skyrocketing prices for consumers, a stifled economy, and California jobs lost.

“In fact, without a market-based approach like cap-and-trade in place, studies show meeting 2030 GHG goals would have been at least four times more expensive for every California family and cost the state four times more jobs than control measures that would have been imposed on manufacturing and industry in this state.

“Cap-and-trade’s market-based approach provides regulated facilities, like those of our industry, with more flexibility as they work to meet the new standards.  The bipartisan support of AB 398 ensured an improved cap-and-trade program with tax cuts, cost containment measures, and significant bureaucracy reduction that will contain costs for all Californians. Important tax cuts were fought for by legislative leaders in both parties that will ease the burden of businesses working to comply with the law, including an extension of the manufacturer sales and use tax exemption to cover the agriculture and energy industries.

“This significantly reformed cap-and-trade program presents the best available path forward for our industry in the toughest regulatory environment in the world.”


About the Author

Dan Bacher is an environmental journalist in Sacramento who focuses on California's water issues, a healthy environment for the salmon fishery of the Northwest, and the attempts by big agriculture and big oil to hog all the water.
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  • Ike Baikal

    Cap & Trade is basically a CARBON TAX. (Look how it helped drive unemployment in Alberta from 4% to 9% ). Californians in future will pay $3-$4 per gallon for this “fake” environmental “excuse” for higher tax. (Did I mention that atmospheric CO2 is lowering the number and acreage of forest fires in Canada). This action by California will give other states a huge future advantage (assuming that other states are not dumb enough to have a carbon tax).