The state of California is recognized as a leader in grassroots activism and sustainability practices whose green initiatives have led the way in protecting the environment. Its clean energy policies have strong public support and are the most comprehensive of any state, which is exactly why the oil industry now has California in its crosshairs.
If you’ve never heard of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), they are a very powerful lobbying group for the oil and gas industries. The WSPA concocted a scheme to derail California’s clean-energy legislation, and they presented their scheme to the Washington Research Council back in November. Bad news for them but good news for the planet, someone leaked their Powerpoint presentation, which is now making the rounds among climate activists.
The plan was, and most likely still is, to surreptitiously raise opposition to environmental initiatives in California, as well as Washington and Oregon states, by creating and funding faux environmental groups with names like Oregon Climate-Change Campaign and AB32 Implementation Group, who seem to be grassroots-led but are really just promoting the interests of the oil industry. The WSPA plans to specifically target clean-energy policies and low-carbon fuel standards in all three states. Very tricky indeed.
After learning about the leaked Powerpoint presentation and the WSPA’s brilliant plan, the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) stated that these underhanded tactics are, unfortunately, nothing new for Big Oil. In a recent blog post, the NRDC stated, “It’s the same strategy the oil industry has employed for decades.” The 15 (give or take) fake environmental groups backed by the WSPA are simply the most recent wolves in sheep’s clothing.
The NRDC blog post also points out that since 2009, the oil industry has reportedly spent over $70 million on their lobbying efforts, and that’s just for the state of California. “If only they showed the same determination and innovation in cleaning up their operations and developing clean energy alternatives for their customers.” How true.