Right now, California is about to get a dose of Big Oil's money as some of the biggest polluters in the country -- Valero, Tesoro and Koch Industries -- see their dream of Proposition 23 go down in flames.
These Toxic Triplets have poured close to ten million dollars into California in a desperate attempt to overturn a bill, AB 32, that is the cornerstone of California's hope for a green economy, green job present and future. AB 32 is generating jobs right now, but not jobs in dirty energy, so major oil companies are doing everything they can to stop it.
Things like paying scientists major bucks to write false and misleading reports. My colleague Max Bernstein and I created a word to describe the right's strategy of creating a scientific controversy where there is none -- manufactroversy.
Steve Maviglio reports how the oil companies are taking this to a whole new level in the Prop 23 fight.
Tom Tanton, who has produced several reports attacking AB 32 and bills himself as an independent "economist," received $35,000 in payment. Tanton's widely criticized work is the basis of the Yes on 23's "study" that says AB 32 will hurt local communities. Gee, I wonder if the $35,000 he received helped him reach that conclusion in his "independent" work.
What we should watch out for as Prop 23 looks like it might go down in a very expensive defeat for Big Oil is that they will start to panic, pour more money into California and ramp up the attacks, the lies and whatever else they can think of.
It's not the money that matters so much -- it's the fact that to preserve their profits, Big Oil needs to be obsessive about stopping anything that even suggests that clean energy is good, or good for an economy.
Stay tuned. It's ugly out there in the Golden State. And it's about to get uglier.