Schwarzenegger Blasts Oil Companies

(Archival Photo: Angela George)

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger used his appearance at the Commonwealth Club in Santa Clara today to “put a spotlight” on what he called the “self-serving greed” of oil companies Valero, Tesoro, and Koch Industries. These companies, two of which he described as among the state’s top polluters, are bankrolling Proposition 23 for their own gain, while trying to hide behind a false claim that the initiative would be good for the state’s economy, said the Governor. Prop 23 would suspend California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, AB 32, which authorizes incentives and regulations for reducing the state’s greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Schwarzenegger’s speech was timed to the fourth anniversary of the law.

Proponents of the ballot measure claim that allowing AB 32 to be fully implemented would drive businesses from the state and could potentially cost the state more than a million jobs, a figure which has been challenged in several studies.

“They are creating a shell argument that this is about saving jobs,” said Schwarzenegger. “Does anyone really believe that these companies, out of their black-oil hearts are really spending millions and millions of dollars to protect jobs? It’s not about jobs at all. It’s about their ability to pollute and thus protect their profits.”

He said that green jobs in California have grown ten times faster than the statewide average since 2005, and that they now comprise the single largest source of jobs in the state. Passing Prop. 23, would kill investment in the strongest sector of California’s economy, said the Governor.

“The old oil companies are all out for Prop. 23. Silicon Valley is overwhelmingly against it,” he said. “Which side do you believe our economic future as a nation is on?”

The full recording of the Governor’s speech from today’s Climate One event at the Commonwealth Club will be broadcast tonight at 9 p.m. in the Bay Area on KQED Public Radio (88.5) and in the Sacramento region on KQEI (89.3).

  • Tom

    No wonder the California economy is sunk and sinking further. The idea that green jobs are our salvation goes against actual history. First, of course green jobs are growing fast as a percentage…only because there are so few to start with. Second, they rely so heavily on subsidies and mandates they are not sustainable (especially with a massive deficit and deep recession.) Ask Spain, Italy, Germany and Denmark about green job subsidies…and then stand back.
    Look at the BROAD base of supporters for Prop. 23 and you’ll see folks of many stripes, not just energy companies.

    • von bargen

      “Tom” Valero/Tesoro has been working in the oil industry too long and he needs to post messages like this to keep his job and make his bosses happy.
      Lots of new ideas begin with government subsidization and he knows it. He also knows that every word the governator said was true and I can’t wait until he retires and joins Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter doing humanitarian things that don’t require gop votes to get done.
      (Looks like “Bill” is working in the office next to “Tom.” Poor guys.)

    • Marisa

      LOL and the oil companies are NOT subsidized? LOL how do you think George W earned his first millions? With a 3 million dollar “exploration grant” from the Federal Government.

  • Bill in Reno

    Green jobs…that is the reason that California is sunk. The future is in filthy non-renewables! Just ask those Texas oil companies that want to influence California voting. These out-of-state oil companies are really the only ones who care about California workers. Every good Republican except the governernor know this!

    Let’s not forget statistics…the percentage of growth of green jobs IS astronomical and IS accounted for by the fact that green jobs are growing from nothing to something. Interesting, but proves nothing. But this statistical factoid does NOT account for them being the largest source of jobs.

    And subsidies….Ignore the many billions wasted in corporate welfare paid out to the oil companies, among the most profitable companies in the world. Certainly they should be paid my tax dollars to look for oil. Between oil companies and green companies, I know which ones I would rather see receiving my tax money in the form of subsidies.

    But it must be true. Could so many polluters be wrong?

    • Mike Rodriguez

      I have four things to say.
      1. Bill In Reno does not live in California, so he is in no position to talk about “out-of-state oil companies” caring or not caring about California workers.
      2. Bill appears to just be rambling in his posting.
      3. Bill makes the statement “Let’s not forget statistics…the percentage of growth of green jobs IS astronomical and IS accounted for by the fact that green jobs are growing from nothing to something”. Bill does not provide any numbers nor does he references any source to back this statement.
      4. Lastly, Bill sounds like an angry Democrat just taking a cheap shot at Republicans.

      • Shane in America

        @Mike Rodriquez. You are too ignorant to live. I can’t believe that you did not even manage to make one bit of sense…incredible!

        • Anonymous

          Shane in America. Why are you a hater?
          Are you that insecure in your life that if someone says something you don’t agree with you have to try and insult their intelligence or question there right to live? Is your self esteem so low that you have to attempt to injure someone else in order to make yourself feel good.?
          You should really talk to someone about your problem.

    • http://www.eia.doe.gov/energyexplained/index.cfm?page=oil_home#tab2 Stop judging based on political party. And start doing what is RIGHT!

      To everyone against prop 23-
      To start with jobs. The green industry has produced over 500,000 jobs, so to put a halt on moving forward would mean taking that away. I’m glad you’re willing to sacrifice our health, you do realize that over 90,000 infant deaths are due to asthma, caused by air pollution, right? And those are just infants we’re talking about. Please educate yourself, and pull your head out of your ass and look at the bigger picture. Lives, health, and the future is on the line here, California is known for setting our nations trends so try thinking of the rest of the nation, world, your family, your kids, your grandkids, and overall the actual big picture. If this gets passed that means the “green/clean jobs movement” will be set back 10 years, have you checked your resources lately? I’m pretty sure they’re not renewable. The United States is already a lead consumer in oil do we really need to depend on it more? What’s so wrong with wanting to not pollute chemicals into the atmosphere and improve air quality? Since when is that so bad? Since big oil companies are going to lose money, haven’t they earned enough money? If anything take a look at who is number one in oil production TEXAS! In case you haven’t looked at the rest of the world, all the other countries are becoming developed meaning there’s not enough resources for all of us, so these green/clean energy jobs that you seem to have personal issues with need to be enforced in order for anyone to be able to live in this world sustainably and I for one am all about fixing the world now so that the future doesn’t have to suffer, I don’t know about yourself, but I’m thinking about the people coming after us, stop being selfish and educate yourself.

    • von bargen

      I’m embarrassed. I just skimmed Bill in Reno’s post and didn’t get the joke. Mea culpa and my apologies for being too quick to add a dumb P.S.

  • Bill in Reno, by way of California

    Mike in who-knows-where,
    (1) What are you saying, that I am not “one of you” and don’t have the right to comment?…
    Maybe you are asking for my birth certificate? I was born, raised and educated in California, love it , and think of it as my home. Can those Texas oil corporations bankrolling Prop 23 make the same claim? And what about free speech?

    But to your “arguments”….Personal attack rather than attacking the facts shows how you lack any real facts……Just go for the cheap shot with an ad hominem attack… Sure sign of too much tea. And seems to me you are the one who sounds angry, so I guess you missed my efforts at humor?

    (2)Rambling? Hmmm. No editing,, so maybe guilty? I suppose if you cited an example we could discuss my structure vs yours. But your attack lacks any references so we really can’t address your attack.

    (3)Mike, that argument is not referring to any specific numbers so none can be cited. I am agreeing with Tom that percentages are necessarily not the most reflective statistic to form a conclusion, and I am pointing out that Tom’s argument DOESN’T address the governor’s statement that (green jobs)” comprise the single largest source of jobs in the state. Passing Prop. 23, would kill investment in the strongest sector of California’s economy.” Tom did not address that argument at all.

    Is oil or renewable energy the future? Oil companies have a vested outcome in this argument, eh? The governor is eloquently arguing for renewables.

    (4) Finally, some small fragment of agreement! I AM angry, angry about the lies and sloppy logic I hear every day out of extremist rightist wingnuts, but I again confess I was trying at humor. Can’t get that anger thing past you, can I?

    So where is all the evidence that Prop 23 would create jobs like the oil companies say? Try actually addressing the governor’s accusation that these are false claims by stating some facts. If you have none, I would refer you back to the governor’s incredible speech. Even if it makes you angry, if you can’t refute it, it is likely true.

  • http://Don'tvotebasedonyourpoliticalparty.Votebasedonwhatisrightforourworldsfuture. Stop judging based on political party. And start doing what is RIGHT!