California plans to implement an emissions control law called Assembly Bill 32 in 2012. The law grants the state the rights to set emission standards and implement greenhouse gas guidelines. Additionally, the state will be able to promote alternative fuels and technologies by way of rebates and other incentives. The focus of A.B. 32 is to drive down harmful emissions statewide with a goal of turning back the clock to emissions levels seen decades ago.
The law has been met with some opposition. The California Jobs Initiative was recently formed to block the implementation of A.B. 32. The Initiative aims to block the implementation of A.B. 32 until the state's jobless rate drops to 5.5 percent. Currently, the jobless rate sits at 12.5 percent. The Initiative claims that implementation of the law would result in the loss of thousands of jobs.
In order to block implementation, the Initiative must collect signatures of registered voters, a labor intensive and time consuming process. Typically, initiative campaigns are organized to block future laws. These campaigns require funding and that's where big oil has stepped in. The California Jobs Initiative has filed papers with a state office to get the initiative on the upcoming ballot. Green Car Advisor has uncovered information about current funding for the initiative which now approaches one million dollars.
Who tops the funding list? Oil refiner and gas station chain Valero has committed $500,000, oil refiner Tesero committed $100,000, gasoline distributor Tower Energy Group committed $100,000, oil refiner World Oil Corp. committed $100,000 and the list continues on. Absent from the list is any group or company associated with job placement, job creation or any other job related field. As it appears, the big oil companies are interested in saving some jobs, their own.