Not only does the pollution of dirty energy companies extend across other states but so does their influence. Not far from Texas, California is fighting two big Texas oil companies to keep its air cleaner. To give you some background, California passed historic legislation in 2006 that mandates the state to cut 25% of its greenhouse emission by 2020. A legislation such as California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 would cost oil companies extra bucks to get their facilities to comply with the requirements of the law.
The two Texas oil companies, Valero and Tesoro own 4 out of California’s 15 most pollutant facilities. The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights and the California Environmental Justice Alliance issued a report that contains details on several environmental violations in the state and sheds some light on illegal spews of toxic chemicals. But just like what oil companies do, Valero and Tesoro have become primary funders of California’s Proposition 23 which would suspend AB32, if it passed. The two companies have spent big bucks to get the legislation passed just like what they do back home in Texas. Combined, both companies have spent over 2 million so far.
Once again, the Republican Party is selling this legislation as an incentive for jobs. It suspends AB32 until unemployment in California dips back to 5.5% for 5 consecutive quarters. To simplify, Republicans are blurring the line between employment and public health and it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, many jobs can be created by using green energy and these jobs will not pose any health risks to the employees or the residents of the area. The Republican party has to get a different energy plan than, ”work and get sick or no work at all.” It is 2010 and we can employ many more better resources in the United States than the dirty ones we have been using for the past century. I must add that even California’s Governor, a Republican thinks this proposition is ridiculous. Schwarzenegger said in July that, “the move would seriously undermine California’s efforts to attract new investment and create thousands of new jobs in green technology.” His Republican opponent for the governor seat, however, is vowing to suspend the law for at least one year, if she takes office.
By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We are Public Citizen Texas.