Photo credit: jurvetson via Flickr/CC BY
Say what you will about California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, but despite being the onetime public face of the Hummer, he's consistently come out on the side of good green policy for his state. And he may have just offered up his most vehement defense of any green law out there, criticizing the Texas oil company-led effort to pass Proposition 23, which would overturn California's groundbreaking climate law. He publicly attacked the lack of trustworthiness of the oil industry and their "black oil hearts". Seriously, you've got to read this gem of a quote:
Schwarzenegger, speaking before several hundred people at the Commonwealth Club in Santa Clara, said the proponents of Prop. 23 are attempting to subvert the democratic process using scare tactics. He likened the campaign to a shell game hiding what he said was the real purpose: "self-serving greed."So reports the San Francisco Chronicle, which relayed the latest quote to be heard 'round the blogosphere. For good reason though -- that was the best thing I read all day yesterday. And, while colorful, it's accurate.
"They are creating a shell argument that they are doing this to protect jobs," the governor said. "Does anybody really believe they are doing this out of the goodness of their black oil hearts - spending millions and millions of dollars to save jobs?"
The Texas oil companies Valero and Tesoro have dumped over $5 million in funding so far to support Prop 23, and were responsible for placing it on the ballot. The Americans for Prosperity, a Tea Party-organizing group funded by the carbon-intensive Koch Industries, is chiefly responsible for arranging the 'grassroots' protest. This is a cut-and-dry example of major fossil fuel industries directly opposing a law that would require them to lower their emissions pollution, to protect their own self interest. It's greed over public good, plain and simple. The campaign slogan for Prop 23 insists that the oil companies' chief interest is in saving jobs, but, as Schwarzenegger notes, this is anything but the case.
Prop 23 is an effort to protect the fossil fuel industry, plain and simple -- AB 32, the climate law it would overturn if passed, is designed to lower California's carbon pollution, and to assist the growing clean energy sector in the state. If anything, AB 32 will eventually create many good, sustainable jobs in an industry that's sure to dominate the globe for decades to come.
No one should believe for a second that Prop 23 was created for any other reason than to protect oil company profits. Governor Schwarzenegger, in so many words, was dead on.