'Climate leaders' Justin Trudeau, Jerry Brown are Both Promoters of Oil Industry Expansion

By Dan Bacher | February 10, 2018 | 

After going to yesterday’s “Save Our Coast” rally against offshore oil drilling in Sacramento, where not one single politician mentioned the massive expansion of offshore drilling in state waters under “climate leader” Jerry Brown, I felt very frustrated.

One politician after another delivered the false narrative that “California would resist Trump’s plan to open the coast to new offshore oil drilling” when Jerry Brown has already done in the state waters off Ventura and Los Angeles counties what Trump would like to do in federal waters - expand offshore oil drilling.
However, I was elated this morning to receive the following statement from Patrick McCully, Climate and Energy Program Director at the Rainforest Action Network, about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s visit to meet with Brown here in California. McCully gets it right, unlike many politicians, NGOs and media outlets:

“Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Governor Jerry Brown are birds of a feather in claiming climate leadership while encouraging the expansion of the oil industry. Trudeau is currently bullying British Columbia into accepting Texas company Kinder Morgan’s dirty tar sands mega-pipeline, which the province’s government and its First Nations have made clear they don’t want. Meanwhile Brown has long refused to take action against fracking and other dirty oil extraction in California. We can’t afford for our climate leaders to be fossil fuel pushers.”

Patrick, thanks so much for having the courage to reveal what is really going with the current oil drilling expansion in both California and Canada!

On Friday, local climate justice activists opposed to the Kinder Morgans pipeline protested outside the hotel where Trudeau was staying: globalnews.ca/.

Today, Brown met with Trudeau in San Francisco, where the two leaders pledged to "expand cooperation on climate action, trade and criminal justice reform."  

“We've got a lot to do with Canada while our Washington government is temporarily missing in action,” claimed Governor Brown at the opening of today’s meeting. “In terms of climate action, California and more than a dozen other [U.S.] states are taking real action. I'm looking forward to forging agreements with various provinces in Canada and particularly in zero-emission vehicles - electric cars, hydrogen cars. I'm hoping Canada, California and the rest of America can really commit to developing the technologies that will allow us to have zero-emission vehicles be a big part of our future.” 

However, it appears that Brown is also "missing in action" when it comes to stopping the expansion of fracking, steam injection and other extreme oil extraction techniques in California.

Here are the facts: Jerry Brown’s regulators have approved 238 new offshore oil wells in state waters under existing leases, an increase of 17 percent since 2012, according to analysis by the nonprofit FracTracker Alliance.

According to the Fracktracker Alliance:

"FracTracker Alliance reviewed the data published by DOGGR on permitted offshore wells. (DOGGR refers to the Division of Oil, Gas, & Geothermal Resources, which regulates drilling in CA). Using API identification numbers as a timeline, we actually find that it is likely that 238 wells have been drilled offshore since the start of 2012. The DOGGR database only lists “spud” (drilling) and completion dates for 71 – a mere 1.3% of the 5,435 total offshore wells. DOGGR reports that 1,366 offshore wells are currently active production wells. It must be noted that these numbers are only estimations, since operators have a 2-year window to drill wells after receiving a permit and API number.

Using these methods of deduction, we find that since the beginning of 2012 the majority of offshore wells have been drilled offshore of Los Angeles County in the Wilmington Oil Field (204 in total); followed by 25 offshore in the Huntington Beach field; 7 in the West Montalvo field offshore of Ventura County, and 1 in the Belmont field, also offshore of Ventura County. Additionally, the Center for Biological Diversity reports that at least 200 of the wells off California’s coast have been hydraulically fractured."  

The FracTacker Alliance report is available here: https://www.fractracker.org/2017/02/more-offshore-drilling-ca/  

Why is Jerry Brown such a loyal servant of the oil industry? It might have something to do with the fact that Brown has received over $9.8 million from oil companies, gas companies and utilities since he ran for his third term as governor, according to Consumer Watchdog. For more information on Governor Brown and his so-called "green" policies, see: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/sites/default/files/2017-09/how_green_is_brown.pdf

Big Oil also wields enormous influence over the California Legislature, such huge influence that every bill except one opposed by the oil industry has failed to make it out of the Legislature over the past three years. Big Oil dominated three out of the four top spots of expenditures by all lobbying organizations in 2017, according to documents from the California Secretary of State’s Office.

Outspending all of their competition, Chevron placed first with $8.2 million and the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the trade association for the oil industry in the states of California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and Arizona, spent $6.2 million. Tesoro Refining and Marketing Company finished fourth with $3.2 million. You can find the information on spending by employers of lobbyists here: cal-access.sos.ca.gov/…

That’s a total of $17.6 million dumped into lobbying by the three top oil industry lobbying organizations alone. That figure exceeds the $14,577,314 expended by all 16 oil lobby organizations in 2016.

The California Oil Lobby was the biggest spender in the 2015-16 legislative session, spending an amazing $36.1 million on lobbying over the two-year period. Big Oil spending last session amounted to $1.5 million per month - nearly $50,000 per day.

WSPA and Big Oil use their money and power in 5 ways: through (1) lobbying; (2) campaign spending; (3) creating Astroturf groups: 4) working in collaboration with media; and (5) getting appointed to positions on and influencing regulatory panels, as in the case of the privately Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative to create faux “marine protected areas” in Southern California.

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