It’s amazing how oil companies stay so completely on message. The American Petroleum Institute, the oil industry mouthpiece, is pushing the same deceptive “jobs, jobs, jobs”
message as the Texas oil companies backing Proposition 23 on the
California ballot. Both are saying that any shift toward greener energy
that costs the oil industry a dime will trash American jobs.
Except it’s not California jobs that refining company Valero, the
biggest funder of Prop 23, cares about–it’s boosting profits from
California and sending them to Houston. And API is paid by the industry
to greenwash its image and kill any threats–including green jobs.
So when you hear that clean air regulation is a job-killer, look at
who’s talking–and where they come from. Sure, Texas oil companies want
to keep the money pipeline flowing from California and Washington. But
that’s no reason for the rest of us to listen.
The Prop 23 funders know that anticipation of the state’s new clean
air regulation has pushed California to No. 1 in the nation for
green-job investments, and green jobs are growing at a rate 10 times that of the general economy,
according to the state Employment Development Department. The state’s
global warming law is a threat to oil’s bottom line, not to jobs.
And so it is with the American Petroleum Institute, which keeps touting its nationwide “rallies for jobs,”
even though the so-called rallies are mostly in Texas, mostly online
and generated not by popular demand but by oil companies urging their
employees to participate. (Videos of the Houston rallies do show hefty
goody bags for participants, though)
The petroleum lobby keeps grousing about the awful consequences of
new oil taxes, despite the fact that the industry gets tens of billions
of dollars in taxpayer subsidies. That means we’re all paying a tax that
goes straight to oil companies instead of developing cleaner energy.