For those who may not have heard yet, there’s a huge and historic battle brewing in California. Proposition 23, if passed would suspend the California Global Warming Act of 2006 (AB 32) which requires that greenhouse gas emissions in the state be cut to 1990 levels by 2020.
At least 92% of contributions being pumped into California’s Proposition 23 are from energy companies that would be regulated by the energy and climate legislation they are trying to overturn. Much of the money has been used to collect the signatures to get Proposition 23 on the ballot, and to fund research that supposedly proves that clean energy would cost jobs.
Oil Change International has produced an interactive funding map that allows you to investigate exactly which oil, gas, and coal companies are funding this initiative. Some interesting things to note as you explore the interactive map:
The Adam Smith Foundation: The foundation was a relatively minor player in Missouri conservative politics until this year’s massive contribution in California. We don’t know where the money came from, because the Adam Smith Foundation is a 501c4 group, and doesn’t have to disclose its contributors. But John Elliott, the foundation’s president, runs a design firm that has many coal power industry clients. Could there be a connection?
National Petrochemical and Refiners Association (NPRA): This industry association maintains a very active Federal Political Action Committee which many oil companies are members of. The NPRA receives many contributions from oil companies’ PACs, as well as large personal contributions from the oil companies officers and has made large contributions to Proposition 23.
Koch Industries: Although the Koch brothers are not known to have contributed directly to Proposition 23, Koch Industries has given to the NPRA, and Koch’s fully-owned subsidiary, Flint Hills Resources, is the third largest contributor to the Proposition 23 Campaign. The Koch brothers appear to also support the Pacific Research Institute, which was hired by Proposition 23 and produced research reports which the campaign cites to justify its claims.