Big Oil lobbyist heroically defends the First Amendment!

By Dan Bacher |  December 18, 2014 | In her eloquent salute to the First Amendment recently printed in the S.F. Chronicle, Catherine R...

By Dan Bacher | December 18, 2014 |


In her eloquent salute to the First Amendment recently printed in the S.F. Chronicle, Catherine Reheis-Boyd, the distinguished President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), has finally convinced me that the oil industry only has the best interests of the Constitution, the people and the environment in mind when it does anything!

Her touching prose in defending the free speech "rights" of Big Oil to be free of pesky "climate change" labels on their gas pumps in the City of Berkeley brought a deluge of tears to my eyes.

"One of the underlying tenets of our cherished right to free speech is that everyone is entitled to it — even people with whom we disagree," gushed Reheis-Boyd.

"It seems fitting — indeed essential — to remember this important principle as the city of Berkeley and the city and county of San Francisco debate whether to compel service station owners in those Bay Area cities to display so-called “climate change labels” on their gas pumps," she said.

Reheis-Boyd courageously invokes the 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement to stand up for the First Amendment rights of the downtrodden oil companies!

"It is, of course, ironic that the city of Berkeley — birthplace of the Free Speech Movement 50 years ago — would even consider an ordinance that so clearly treads upon the free speech rights of the men and women who own and operate service stations within its borders. Even some members of Berkeley’s own City Council criticize this proposal as a 'feel-good solution looking for a problem' and really being about 'making people feel bad,'" wrote Reheis-Boyd.

There is no doubt that Reheis-Boyd and the Western States Petroleum Association are heroic defenders of the First Amendment, the environment and the public trust. That's why Reheis-Boyd generously volunteered to Chair the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Blue Ribbon Task Force to create glorious "marine protected areas" in Southern California - and to selflessly serve on the MLPA Blue Ribbon Task Forces for the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast.

She had only altruistic motives in mind when she so selflessly donated her time to kicking pesky fishermen, Tribal gatherers and divers off the water - and letting the oil industry, corporate polluters, the military and corporate aquaculture off the hook in these iconic "Yosemites of the Sea."

How could she be anything but a dedicated "environmentalist" when NRDC, the League of Conservation Voters, the Ocean Conservancy and other "environmental" NGOs and self-sacrificing state officials touted the process that she oversaw as the most "open, transparent and inclusive" process in California history?

This marine guardian/First Amendment defender is also now pushing for the expansion of sustainable hydraulic fracturing and the long-overdue weakening of California's environmental laws for noble, saintly reasons that truly touch me. She and other oil industry lobbyists and executives are modern day John Muirs and Rachel Carsons who must be worshipped for their dedication to fish, water, the environment and the public trust! Go Big Oil! Go WSPA!

Reheis-Boyd's profound tribute to the First Amendment can be read here.

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