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Secret Out-of-State Oil Industry Memo: Prop. 23 About Their “Self-Interest” and Valero's
The National Petroleum Refiners Association, led by Valero CEO Bill Klesse, is pressing more of its out-of-state oil companies to contribute millions to Prop. 23 for the industry’s “self-interest,” according to an internal e-mail.
I’m writing you today to ask for your strong financial support for a campaign that could, quite literally, mean the difference between life and death for our industry in this century. I know this sounds melodramatic, but it’s an objective statement of fact.
America’s energy future, the future of oil refining and petrochemical manufacturing in this nation, and the future of the nearly 2 million Americans employed directly and indirectly by our industry will all be on the line Nov. 2 when voters in our most populous state cast ballots on Proposition 23 – the California Jobs Initiative.
As most of you know, Proposition 23 would delay the implementation of California’s ill-conceived and job-killing global-warming law, also known as AB 32, until unemployment in California drops to 5.5 percent for at least 12 consecutive months. California unemployment currently tops a staggering 12 percent – meaning more than 2.2 million men and women who want jobs are out of work.
AB32 would add more than 1.1 million more Californians to the ranks of the unemployed. It would add $3.7 billion a year in higher gasoline and diesel costs for California motorists. It would add up to $50,000 to the cost of a new home. And it would boost retail electricity rates by up to 60 percent.
I could write pages about the destructive, senseless and draconian provisions of AB32. You can find reams of statistics and facts making the case against this ill-conceived environmental measure by going to the Web site www.yeson23.org <http://www.yeson23.org>
Suffice it to say that AB32 would give the California Air Resources Board (CARB) powers any dictator would envy to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions in California from 1990 levels – by 25 to 30 percent by 2020, and by a stunning 80 percent by 2050. You simply can’t achieve these drastic reductions in carbon and still refine petroleum for use as a motor fuel.
AB32 mandates low-carbon fuel standards, a cap and trade program, and just about every other counterproductive and destructive measure you can think of in the name of carbon reduction. For all practical purposes, AB32 would have the effect of outlawing petroleum-based fuels in California in the second half of this century.
Since California is not a planet with its own atmosphere, all the extreme measures in AB32 wouldn’t even accomplish anything. Greenhouse gasses would still come into the state from the common atmosphere everyone on Earth shares.
This amounts to political correctness gone mad.
Unfortunately, Proposition 23 is not just a California issue. A defeat for Proposition 23 in California could energize environmental fanatics around the country and in Washington to match California’s destructive policies with their own versions of AB32. At that point, our industry might find itself in the position of the Titanic facing the iceberg – headed for disaster without time to alter course.
The time to educate California voters and show them the true impact of AB32 is now. NPRA itself has helped fund the campaign for Proposition 23, and members who have contributed are CVR, Flint Hills/Koch, Frontier, Holly, Marathon, Placid, Tesoro and Valero.
Radical environmentalists have spared no effort working to demonize us as “Big Oil” out to destroy their state. Our opponents seldom mention that more than 350 organizations – including labor unions – are joining us to campaign on behalf of Proposition 23.
We’ve raised about $6 million so far, but unfortunately in California’s expensive media market this is not enough to win the fight against environmental zealots led by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who seems hell-bent on becoming the real-life Terminator of our industry.
Not surprisingly, wealthy executives peddling alternate energy plans are bankrolling the anti-Proposition 23 campaign, along with environmental dreamers who fantasize that we can get all the power we need from the wind, the Sun and the tides at an affordable cost without any pollution or harmful effects.
We all know times are tough. But unfortunately, we don’t get to choose the time or the place of battles to save our industry. This is why we need you to dig deep into your pockets and help us win voter approval of Proposition 23 now.
I don’t want to see history repeat itself. Some 40 years ago, I spent three summers during my college years working in one of the thriving steel plants of my hometown of Pittsburgh – the same plant where my father worked for 44 years. Unfortunately, the steel plants of Pittsburgh no longer exist – just as the thriving textile mills that once provided good manufacturing jobs in the South exist only in memories.
In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, manufacturing employment in the United States has taken a nosedive from 19.6 million jobs in June 1979 to just 11.8 million jobs in July this year. That’s the lowest number of manufacturing jobs in this country since 1941, when our population was far smaller.
None of us wants jobs in refineries and petrochemical plants to move from the endangered list to extinction.
I am pleading with each you – for our nation’s best interest and for your company’s own self-interest – please contact me and tell me how much you can contribute to this critical effort as soon as possible. Nov. 2 is drawing near. If Proposition 23 fails, we may not be able to reverse course.
Charles T. Drevna, President
1667 K Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20006
T 202-552-8457 | F 202-457-0486
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