< class="art-postheader">California Voters Kill Big-Oil Sponsored Legislation Supported by Deceptive Advertising

California voters defeated Proposition 23 in the 2010 midterms, successfully killing Big Oil-sponsored legislation that would have suspended greenhouse-emissions regulations, according to the Los Angeles Times.

LA Weekly reported that the legislation was largely funded by Big Oil corporations, including Tesoro, Valero, and Koch Industries, but voters would never know it from the television ads, such as this one:

The ad purports to be an anti-tax, pro-jobs bill endorsed by feel good associations such as the California Small Business Association, the California Firefighters Association, and the National Federation of Independent Business, but nowhere does it mention that it is not only endorsed by but also paid for by Big Oil.

In the ad, an ordinary woman sits at her kitchen table and speaks earnestly into the camera. “Yes on 23 stops the energy tax. . . and saves more than a million jobs. I want to do my part on global warming. All 23 says is, let’s wait until people are back to work, and we can afford it,” she says.

It sounds like common sense, except that there is no energy tax on the voters, and in no way will Prop 23 create or save jobs. The only thing Prop 23 was designed to do is repeal a four year old law that makes oil and coal companies responsible for limiting toxic emissions.

The so called “tax” the ad talks about is an expense to the oil companies, not to voters. The only way this “tax” would affect the voters at large would be in a scenario where Big Oil chooses not to comply with the clean air laws, pays an extra premium for refusing to comply, and then passes the extra expense on to the end consumer.

The bad news is that Big Oil apparently has no intentions of cleaning up their act: instead of investing in clean-air measures, they instead opted to spend $70 million to bring and endorse Prop 23, which would allow them to happily maintain their status quo.

These deceptive advertising tactics are standard operating procedure for the dirtiest and most profitable industry in the world. Wherever clean energy legislation appears to be opposed by a lobby that is anti-tax and pro-jobs, it’s a pretty safe bet that the dollar signs will lead back to Big Oil in some form or fashion.

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