Tag Archives: valero

Valero to Pay Over $300,000 in Bay Area air quality fines

Oil company settles claims against it for Benecia refinery

by Brian Leubitz

Sure, you know Valero from their brightly colored gas stations. But if you’ve been following California politics for a while, you may remember when Valero got involved here. They were a big funder in Prop 23, a measure to repeal our landmark climate change legislation. It turns out that they have some other plans for chemicals in California air, as they have settled and acknowledge violations:

The Valero Refining Co. has agreed to pay more than $300,000 for repeated air quality violations, including gas leaks, over the past few years, regulators announced Tuesday.

The company will pay $300,300 in civil penalties for 33 violations in 2011 and 2012 at its petroleum refinery in Benicia, according to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. (SF Chronicle)

Valero actually self-reported, so this is somewhat a sign of the system working. However, for the people of the East Bay who face increased asthma rates, the system really isn’t working. Children in Richmond have asthma rates twice normal rates, and air quality is thought to be chiefly responsible.

Texas Oil Price Grouging Behind Drive To Stop Greenhouse Gas Caps

When the eighth largest economy in the world establishes a landmark greenhouse gas emissions cap, you can bet oil companies are going to try to find a way to knock it down for one reason: money.

When the eighth largest economy in the world establishes a landmark greenhouse gas emissions cap, you can bet oil companies are going to try to find a way to knock it down for one reason: money.

A new report shows the motivation behind one Texas oil giant’s crusade against California’s landmark greenhouse emissions law: big profits from price gouging of drivers.

The report by Consumer Watchdog’s Oilwatchdog.org project shows Californians have endured higher gasoline prices than the rest of the nation while Texas-based Valero  has averaged 37% higher margins on each barrel of oil it refined in California.  The result — $4.5 billion in profits.

That type of price gouging is apparently too profitable a gold rush to threaten with competition from a Green Tech energy sector, which is why Valero is the principle funder behind California Proposition 23. The November ballot measure freezes the state’s greenhouse gas cap until unemployment all but vanishes.

The irony is that Green Tech is the job creation engine of the state, making California tops for green collar jobs in the nation.

Environmentalists have been fighting Proposition 23 on the basis that dirty Texas oil companies want to keep polluting in the state. The bigger truth is that they want to keep price gouging the state’s motorists, and Proposition 23 is a tool to allow the refiners to continue to charge too much for gasoline and make too much profit per gallon. It’s all about dollars and cents per gallon.

According to Consumer Watchdog’s report:

*  Valero’s net refining margins in California have been 37% higher per barrel than those from its refineries in other regions since 2002.

*  Profits have been highest in California for the company during periods of steadily rising gasoline prices; Valero earned more than $1 billion in California refining profits in 2006 alone.

*  Higher than average gasoline prices in the West, created by artificially low supplies during periods of high demand, have been Valero’s recipe for big profits.

Valero’s ability to exact outsized profits from California depends on high pump prices because, unlike integrated oil companies like Chevron, it doesn’t extract crude oil, it only refines oil and sells its products at retail gas stations.  This means that refining margins are central to its profits.

During the recession, Valero has been selling off refineries in the Northeast, but has held onto its California refineries with the expectation that it will resume getting outsized California profits by keeping refined gas supplies tight and charging high prices for gasoline in the state.  

The ability to tighten gas supplies in California – a key component of the price gouging  – will be limited by new environmental rules that support green alternatives to oil and less dependence on gasoline in California. Voters are not yet ready to scrap the greenhouse gas law, but Valero is making it’s run at their hearts and minds — arguing jobs will be lost if the environmental rules take effect.

Californians need to follow the money, all the way to Texas. That says everything about why Valero is backing Proposition 23.


Posted by Jamie Court, author of The Progressive’s Guide to Raising Hell and President of Consumer Watchdog, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing an effective voice for taxpayers and consumers in an era when special interests dominate public discourse, government and politics. Visit us on Facebook and Twitter.

HItting the phones in San Rafael

Although I had received an incredibly supportive welcome from campaign organizers at the San Francisco office, I was happy to move to the simpler tasks of the grassroots campaign, for which I felt much more qualified.

I have been working primarily out of an office in San Rafael, run by two members of Green Core who recently graduated college. I spend my time phone banking, meeting with volunteers and attending rallies in the surrounding area.

San Rafael, being sunny, beautiful, and inhabited by a fair few crunchy, eco-friendly people, is of course not a bad place to be working on an environmental campaign.

Having a fear of phones that makes me avoid calls even with my closest friends, I never thought of myself as a prime candidate for phone banking. Despite my hesitation, it has become one of my favorite activities. Most people don’t pick up, and many that do are clearly not in the mood to talk. The rare person though who seems truly enthusiastic makes up for all the disappointments, and I often find myself full of adrenaline after a successful phone banking session. There is also a camaraderie with the other phone bankers, as you chat together while phones ring.

Obviously phone banking is laborious and slow, but there is a feeling of accomplishment that I found lacking in other activities, a sense of reaching real, live voters (who can otherwise seem almost like mythical creatures, as you discuss them at length but never actually meet them).

I enjoy rallies tremendously, but from the outside of a campaign, I honestly thought they served more as moral boosters for the volunteers rather than influencing voters. My opinion was changed late one night, as I sat phone banking. After only the first few sentences of my “schpiel,” the man on the phone interrupted me, asking if this was the proposition he had seen all the people waving signs for the previous weekend. Having been at the rally he was referring to, I could tell him honestly that it was.

“That’s ok then,” he told me. “We’re voting no. We don’t support big oil. You can call someone else now.”

– Evi Steyer

Tom Steyer is co-Chair, with former Secretary of State George Shultz, of the campaign to oppose Proposition 23 in California, an initiative that would undercut California’s commitment to clean energy.

Evi Steyer is one of Tom and Kat’s four children. She graduated from San Francisco’s University High School in 2010 and is taking a year off to volunteer on the Prop 23 campaign and travel, before starting Yale in the fall of 2011.

They are writing a regular father-daughter, intra-generational blog to share concerns and fears, as well as ideas and hopes about the future of California’s environment.

Prop. 23 Is Debated – and the Millennial Generation Is Tuned In

This is the first installment of what we hope will become a regular father-daughter, intra-generational effort to share concerns and fears, as well as ideas and hopes about the future of California’s environment. – Tom

Tom Steyer:  

I was in Sacramento last week to debate Assembly Member and Prop. 23 author, Dan Logue. As part of my role as the No on Prop. 23 Co-Chair, I’m going to be publicly arguing the ‘no’ side of this measure as often as they’ll let me. I’ve been a passionate and practicing environmentalist for a long time now – and I put my money, and my time, where my mouth is.

And so I found myself in Sacramento.  

I had spent several days prepping and practicing, making sure I was on top of the information as well as Mr. Logue’s attitudes and beliefs. I’m pretty passionate about this stuff to start with – and after spending a few days really drilling down on just who’s behind Prop. 23 (billion-dollar Texas oil giants, Valero and Tesoro), what their motives are (make even more money) and what it would mean to our environment (don’t get me started), I was ready to do battle.

Turns out, Dan Logue’s a very nice gentleman from the Truckee area, a small businessman mostly concerned with the climate for small business. He clearly cared generally about the issue. But he repeatedly quoted a series of discredited analytical efforts including one from Sacramento State and another from Berkeley, the authors of which have expressly asked him to please stop misquoting their work. It seemed to me that those Texas oil companies are manipulating him as badly as the rest of us.

One of the interesting things about debating this issue in public was that I got an immediate sense of what resonates and what does not. It’s obvious that the fact this initiative is funded by Texas oil companies resonates with everyone. It’s obvious that polluters should not be able to write their own environmental laws, get them on the ballot, and get them passed. The other point that’s obvious is this is a confusing issue for most people. Even the numbers, AB 32 and Prop 23, are confusing. It was necessary to repeat frequently that the pro-environment vote is a NO on 23 vote.

I found it an emotional experience, much like playing a soccer or basketball game. But even more so because it’s so obviously not a game. I left the debate feeling pretty drained – but also even more focused. Valero and Tesoro are going to spend whatever’s necessary to undermine California’s environmental laws. And I’m going to do my damndest to stop them.

Evi Steyer:

The trip from San Francisco to Sacramento, across the bay, over the golden-brown hills, and through the fields of the Valley, put me in a very California frame of mind.  After mistakenly making my way to a local neighborhood (wine) press club and bar of the same name, I finally found my way to the Sacramento Press Club, where the debate was being hosted.  The street was lined with Yes on Prop 23 advocates and a man dressed as a chicken, a reference to Assemblyman Logue’s feint at backing out of the debate. Late due to my scenic tour of Sacramento, I hustled up the stairs and found a seat at the back of the high-ceilinged room. Two men who resembled Logue himself and seemed to be closely affiliated with him, a couple wearing matching Tea Party t-shirts, and several people wearing Yes on 23 stickers and holding signs, were seated next to me.

As an 18-year old who grew up in a house where conversations about sustainable energy were as common as the morning carpool, I’m proud of California’s environmental laws and think Prop. 23 is deceptive and really, really dangerous.

The facts prove global warming is real, so it was hard for me to react to Mr. Logue’s assertion that the matter remains inconclusive without a certain amount of skepticism. What struck me, more than the arguments presented and the studies cited, was the overall tone of the discussion. Both Mr. Logue and my Dad clearly care about California and its citizens. But Dan Logue most definitely stakes his position on what he believes to be in the best interest of California. The only problem with Mr. Logue’s position though, no matter how passionate he is and how deeply held his beliefs – he’s wrong on the facts.

I was proud of my Dad, not for his debating tactics but for the positive and hopeful stance he presented. The words “innovation” and “creativity” arose frequently in his arguments for AB 32 and against Prop 23. Listening to the debate, I felt fully engaged and excited about the green revolution and the role California will play. I felt hopeful.

Tom Steyer is a successful asset manager, entrepreneur and environmentalist. He founded and is Co-Managing Partner of the San Francisco-based firm, Farallon Capital Management and is a partner at the private equity firm Hellman & Friedman. With his wife Kat Taylor, he created and funded OneCalifornia Bank, which provides loans and banking services to underserved small businesses, communities, and individuals in California. In 2008, Steyer and Taylor made a $40 million gift to Stanford University to create a new research center as part of the Precourt Institute for Energy, the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy.

Steyer is also co-Chair, with former Secretary of State George Shultz, of the campaign to oppose Proposition 23 in California, an initiative that would undercut California’s commitment to clean energy.

Evi Steyer is one of Tom and Kat’s four children. She graduated from San Francisco’s University High School in 2010 and is taking a year off to volunteer on the Prop 23 campaign and travel, before starting Yale in the fall of 2011.

Oxy, Tesoro and Valero: Drilling at the Ballot Box

In the aftermath of Katrina, nearly everyone pitched in to help (except George Bush, but that’s an old story).  Even Wal-Mart lent is vaunted logistics expertise to the devastated Gulf Coast.

This time around, in a man-made disaster more insiduous than Katrina, the oil industry that chomps at the drilling bit to pump crude from any crevice without regard to consequence, sits idly by, unwilling to lift so much as a pen to help out in the Gulf.  Worse still, Occidental Petroleum, Tesoro and Valero, along with a few secretive allies, have put up over $2 million to pass an initiative here in California that would effectively elminate AB 32, our land mark green economy and clean air legislation, simply to make more money from fouling our state. They see BP and raise a California.

That’s why Courage Campaign Thursday called on those companies to donate at least that much money to efforts to rehabilitate the Gulf, to help the tens of thousands whose lives have been upended or worse by the petro-sharks.

The usually incisive Josh Richman of the Contra Costa Times  had this to say:

But… really? Isn’t demanding that Tesoro and Valero pay to mitigate a BP oil spill sort of like demanding that Honda recall and fix Toyota’s cars? Think what you will of out-of-state oil companies buying a California ballot initiative to protect their profits, but it’s odd to advocate expanding one company’s responsibility and liability to an entire industry just like that. Or, were we supposed to think that big oil – one of the world’s richest, most politically connected industries – would instantly abandon all of its political efforts and slink away due to BP’s ecological and economic trainwreck

It does not seem odd at all. Honda did not seek to weaken safety laws when Toyota began to fail. Imagine if Honda had put millions of dollars into a ballot measure that called for a moratorium on safety checks for five years. You can’t.  No other industry would be so brazen and outrageously rapacious.  That’s the analogy here.  

A well-run company (think Berkshire Hathaway) works toward sustainability which is in the best interests of its shareholders.  Putting tons of oil into the sea and investing in legislation that encourages similarly destructive practices is short-term thinking at its worst. This is the same thinking that allows employee-CEOs to become billionaires by cutting corners and taking profits without investing in the future.  It’s not only legitimate to call on these companies to help out when their industry fails so blatantly, it’s a kind of litmus test.  If they are not willing to help out when people, animals and the nation itself are drowning in dirty crude, we can imagine what will happen if they pass this legislation in California. Screw California and the country:  we want our bonuses.

The end of a green economy and a continual reliance on oil at any price from any place will not be their problem.  It’ll be ours.

I used to work at Occidental Petroleum.  I know that companies can do bad and good.   Oxy, Valero and Tesoro should at least take a page from Wal-Mart’s book–no corporate Boy Scout–and lend a hand in this time of need.  It won’t make them any money, but it’s what good citizens and sustainable businesses do.  

Valero – because Enron is SO ten years ago

Valero, the Texas-based oil giant, continues to prove one thing: oil is dirty. The latest evidence spewing from its smoke stacks? Behind closed doors, Valero’s company practices are just as dirty and threatening as the smoggy skies and health concerns courtesy of its fossil fuel emissions. While the company has been cited as one of the nation’s top polluters, its CEO William Klesse was recently named to CNBC Mad Money’s ‘Wall of Shame’, making it all the more obvious that this apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. But as if that wasn’t bad enough, the company then rewarded Klesse with a “64 percent raise” making his pay check a heafty $10.9 million a year.  

Valero also reported a “27 percent increase in retail profit for the first quarter of 2010”. But don’t expect the company to use that revenue to clean up its act. Instead, it will continue to dirty our environment, pumping the extra green into funding the initiative to suspend, (aka kill), AB 32, the state’s clean energy law.

This out of state oil giant doesn’t have California’s best interest in mind, instead its goal has been to buy your signature in order to secure our dependence on fossil fuels. This week, it appears to have succeeded in getting this misguided proposition on the ballot.  It has done so by duping Californians into thinking that killing AB32 will somehow contribute to the economic health of California.

The fact is, killing AB 32 will “kill hundreds of thousands of jobs and chill billions of dollars of new green investment in California” and benefit no one but these dirty energy companies and their slimy special interests.  It reminds me a time, just under ten years ago, when another Texas-based energy company, swindled the people of California.  Enron took the state for billions, and what Valero, Tesoro, and other Lone Star state interests are doing now, is a play from the same book.

Everything may be “bigger in Texas” but let’s show Valero how it’s done in California. With AB 32 our state can emerge as a national leader in both environmental protection and economic growth. We are the Golden State and let’s make sure we don’t let a little dirt cover up our chance for a healthy and shining future.

5 Earth Day Actions You Can Take In 10 Minutes Flat

It's Earth Day and in addition to all of the other lists advising you to turn off the lights, get green power, and pay attention to what you are buying (all of which are very important) there are five more concrete things you need to do today, that can have a huge impact on the health of the planet. Best of all, they will take you about 10 minutes.

Let's begin.

1. Call Senator Harry Reid at 202-224-3542.

Senator Reid gets it. He said that clean energy and climate legislation 'may be the most important policy we ever pass.' He is going to be facing a TON of pressure to compromise, and accept half-measures. He needs to know that you have his back on passing a comprehensive bill to bolster clean energy and address climate change.

2. Join the Campaign to Stop the Dirty Energy Proposition.

California passed a bill back in 2006 that would bring its greenhouse gas emissions back to 1990 levels by 2020. It is easily the most aggressive climate law in the country, and it could pave the way for other states and other nations to follow suit – BUT Valero, Tesoro, and other big oil interests are trying to pull an Enron and dupe the people of California into passing a proposition that would stop the whole thing.

Whether you are in California or not, sign up and lend a hand.

3. Join the Campaign to Stop the Dirty Energy Proposition on Facebook.

Yep, join them on Facebook too. I can't emphasize how critical this will be for the country. If California, the 8th largest economy in the world can get a handle on its emissions (not to mention reap the HUGE benefits that will come with the 2 million jobs and billion in investments that are already starting to show up there), it will show the rest of the world, that it can be done, and that doing it will make us all better-off.

4. Join the boycott of big oil companies who meddle in state politics.

Write Valero, an email, and let them know you will be boycotting them until they keep their dirty money out of state politics.

5. Share this blog on your Facebook and Twitter.

Lets face it, this stuff only works if we are aggressive about increasing the numbers of people who take actions like these. If you want to get credit yourself, I hereby give you permission to post this blog under your name.

Let's get serious about doing all we can for our planet now. Thanks for reading and thanks for getting in action!

Hey CA – Don’t Get Fooled

The Dirty Energy Proposition (aka the California Jobs Initiative) blew by its self-imposed signature collection deadline last week. The campaign is working to gather the more than 400,000 signatures needed to get the proposal to kill California's landmark climate and clean energy law on the November ballot. Apparently their expectation that a good turnout at Tea Party rallies would result in tens of thousands of signatures to Suspend AB 32 was a bit optimistic. However, California's environment and economy aren't in the clear yet, as almost $1,000,000 in additional funding has been recently contributed to the proposal. So are throngs of Californians getting in action? Nope.

So which money trees did the new wads of green come from? In keeping with the campaign's MO, none other than top U.S. polluters and out-of-state interests. Of course looking at the newest contributor the Adam Smith Foundation, which donated a hefty $458,000, this isn't exactly obvious at first glance – but dig a little deeper and it becomes clear that the group fits in perfectly with its dirty oil counterparts.

Out-of-state? Check. The Adam Smith Foundation is a non-profit group based in Jefferson City, Mo., keeping in line with Texas based oil contributors Valero and Tesoro.

Suspicious motives? Check. While the group calls itself “an advocacy organization committed to promoting conservative principles and individual liberties in Missouri” and “created to defend judicial reform, government accountability, education reform, tax and spending reform and protecting private property”, the reality is that it acts “as a corporate non-profit front group…with ties to stalwart Republican operatives with a history political thuggery and malfeasance”. Hmm, kind of like how Valero claims “environmental stewardship is a core value” for the company, yet is ranked 12th on The Political Economy Research Institute's “100 worst air polluters” in the U.S. (Tesoro came in right behind at number 30).

Perhaps the suspension group's new plan of attack in using non-profits as a puppet to mask the original source of funds is an attempt to avoid any more boycotts like the one Californians have launched against Valero. But Californian's can't be played so easily, and this ploy does little to mask the real interests tugging at the puppet strings. Especially when the other major donors to the committee “include Occidental Petroleum ($300,000), Tesoro Companies ($200,000), World Oil Corp. ($100,000)” and Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association ($100,000).

The underlining question here is how exactly did the fight to kill a piece of California legislation become a top priority for so many? Oil companies and out-of-state special interests fear that clean energy would decrease our dependence on their dirty fossil fuels, thus cutting into their profits and challenging the need for their industry. They know that the reports of further investment, job growth and increasing prosperity that AB 32 promises, chips away at the stranglehold they have us in.

That's one thing this manipulating campaign has right – that AB 32 will jump start a green economy that will threaten dirty energy interests. AB 32 has led businesses to put a new emphasis on environmental concerns, and in turn driven a strong job growth in the green sector. This is highlighted in The California Workforce Association Conference recent study “California's Green Economy”, revealing the increased focus on green products and services and how manufacturing and construction industries are actually leading with the most green jobs. However, suspending AB 32 would halt this transition towards a cleaner and greener California.

As the final weeks of signature collecting get underway – spread the word about the Dirty Energy Proposition. After all, the last time out-of-state Energy interests claimed to have Californians' best interests at heart, we got rolling blackouts, courtesy of Enron. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice . . .

Fact: California Can Lead the Economic Recovery

AB 32, California's landmark climate legislation, will hold polluters accountable and require them to reduce the air pollution that continues to not only threaten our health but also contributes to global climate change. This law has been instrumental in launching our state as the superstar of the clean technology industry – igniting innovation and clean energy businesses that have created thousands of new jobs for Californians.

But an opposition force bought and paid for by Texas Big Oil, is attempting to stop all this by pushing a deceptive ballot proposition that will allow polluters to turn a blind eye to clean energy standards, destroy jobs from California's clean technology companies, and keep us addicted to fossil fuels.


The out of state, big oil opposition is spending millions in it's attempt to cover the facts behind it's layer of smog and deceit, but the reality is that suspending AB 32 is the real mistake threatening our health, our economy, and the future of our state. We need your help in revealing the truth so that California knows the danger that lies in the campaign to kill AB 32.

Who's behind it all?

Two Texas oil companies, Valero Energy Corporation and Tesoro, are the main funders of the ballot proposition.

These two companies are among the nation's biggest polluters, and their California oil refineries are among the top ten polluters in our state. The Valero Political Action Committee is a leading political contributor to dirty energy interests nationally.

While Valero and Tesoro claim their proposition will only 'suspend” AB 32 until California's economy gets better, the truth is that this suspension will kill new jobs and investment.

FACT: The proposition would create more air pollution in California, threaten public health and worsen the climate gap.

Air pollution is already a major threat to public health in California, contributing to 19,000 premature deaths, hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks and thousands of trips to the hospital for California families.

This initiative would let the Texas oil companies and other polluters off the hook – drastically increasing air pollution and public health risks.

FACT: The proposition will kill clean energy and technology jobs, end innovation and billions of dollars of investment in California – bringing our chances to become the nation's clean energy and technology leader to a screeching halt.

The Texas oil companies want California to continue to be addicted to oil and are eager to kill any competition from clean energy business that would reduce this dependence on fossil fuels.

But the clean energy sector is one of the few bright spots in our recovering economy, and rolling back our clean energy standards will cause California to lose hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investments.

Since 2005, California green jobs have grown 10 times faster than the statewide average for other sectors.

The number of California green businesses has increased by 45% and green jobs expanded by 36% from 1995 to 2008 while total jobs in California expanded only 13%.

California's clean technology sector received $2.1 billion in investment capital in 2009 – beating out the investment in Massachusetts, our biggest competitor, by a factor of five.


FACT: Projections of economic destruction resulting from AB 32 have been thoroughly invalidated and disproved by independent economists and the Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO).

The opposition clings to studies that the LAO has evaluated and determined as containing “a number of serious shortcomings that render its estimates of the annual economic costs of state regulations essentially useless.”

Stanford University economist Jim Sweeney stated the following in his report on the Varshney/Tootelian study: “highly biased…based on poor logic and unsound economic analysis” and overstates the costs of AB 32 “by a factor of at least 10”.

Beacon Economics' Christopher Thornberg and Jon Haveman deemed the study “one of the worst examples of schlock science we've ever seen.”

FACT: The proposition will increase both our dependence on foreign oil and costs for California consumers.

Killing AB 32, and thus keeping us dependent on fossil fuels, will increase household electricity costs in California by 33%.

Suspending climate policies will also cause California's economy will shrink by $84 billion, over a half million jobs in 2020.

FACT: The proposition would mean that we would continue to destroy our environment.

If we don't do something to cut emissions, “average U.S. temperatures…are projected to rise another 7°F to 11°F by the end of this century”. To be clear, this seemingly minor increase in temperature is expected to cause the following:

“Annual heat-related health costs could reach an estimated $14 billion by 2100, while rising ground-level ozone levels would boost medical bills by another $10 billion”, states the Union of Concerned Scientists report.

A reduction of up to 90 percent of the Sierra snowpack – which would take away a crucial source of the state's water supply and annual losses to state agriculture, forestry and fisheries reaching $4.3 billion.

According to a report from the California Climate Change Center at the UC-Berkeley, “a 75 to 85 percent increase in the number of days conducive to ozone formation [smog] in Los Angeles and the San Joaquin Valley”.

An increase in annual large wildfires by as much as 53 percent by 2100.

You get the picture. You got the facts. Now please get in action, and nip this weed of a campaign in the bud.

The Dirty Energy Proposition (Part I)

In 2006, Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB32 into law. The bill was a line in sand on climate change, and with a few exceptions, California lawmakers recognized that making the state a leader in clean tech was a win-win-win for the people, the economy, and the planet. AB32 would ratchet California's Green House Gas emissions back down to 1990 levels, by 2020. This effort would create millions of jobs and attract huge investments establishing California as a clean tech leader for the nation and the world.

Now, Dan Logue (R-CA-3) and few others are trying to drag CA back across the line. I have been writing on AB32 for a while, and I couldn't understand why Mr. Logue would do this. I took some time look up a few of his interviews and I gained some perspective.

Mr. Logue does not base his argument on climate change denialism. In fact he argues that AB32 will actually increase carbon emissions by pushing industry to less-regulated China, where manufacturers can pollute as much as they like, resulting in a net increase in emissions (Mr. Logue also advocates for the repeal of what current regulations, which – it seems to me – would be a move toward re-creating the Chinese system here).

That's like arguing 30 years ago that requiring seat belts would lead to less seat belt use because American companies could no longer compete with their foreign counterparts and foreign, seat belt-less cars would flood the American market. That is not what happened.

Mr. Logue is also fond of reminding emissions reduction advocates that they are forgetting that emissions observe no political borders. Greenhouse gasses will waft in from neighboring states (like Nevada) and even from countries on the other side of the planet like China.

It strikes me that perhaps Mr. Logue is missing the point. AB32 is not intended to halt climate change for, as Mr. Logue correctly observes, it will not. It is intended to have California do its part and lead by example.

In fact – Action on climate change worldwide has stalled because no one will lead. Congress wants China and the EU to act first and each of them want the Americans to lead. It is like the global community is aboard a sinking pirate ship, and rather than acting together to plug the holes, they are working to ensure their share of the treasure. In this scenario, it won't be long before all of the treasure is at the bottom of the ocean, and formerly great powers are simply trying to stay afloat.

With the signing of AB32, CA is providing the leadership we lack, and the rest of the nation is soon to follow. The Senate is expected to take up a clean energy bill in the coming weeks, and though it may not be as visionary as AB32, it will be better than the status-quo. When it passes, businesses nationwide will be looking for clean technologies. If AB32 remains in effect, huge numbers of them will find what they need in California.

As Mr. Logue and friends focus on the individual trees of short term transition, they fail to see the forest of long-term prosperity, for California and the nation.