[img_assist|nid=186473|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=272|height=196]August 6 (ForceChange) — California’s clean energy law, Assembly Bill 32, is under attack from Texas oil companies that are orchestrating a campaign to repeal the legislation. AB 32, which was signed into law in 2006, aims to reduce carbon emissions from California to 1990 levels by 2020. An organized group, lead by Texas based oil refining giant Valero, is funding a campaign to repeal AB 32 via Proposition 23.
The anti-clean energy campaign, as ThinkProgress notes, has been given the “Orwellian moniker ‘California Jobs Initiative.'” However, like most corporate funded policy campaigns, the goal here is to protect the companies’ bottom line, which will be squeezed by the clean energy requirements of AB 32. Not surprisingly, the oil companies are not eager to begin paying for the costs of the pollution they spew into the atmosphere.
While none of this is surprising, what is a little more interesting is the large monetary support of the anti-clean energy campaign from a nonprofit group based out of Missouri called the Adam Smith Foundation. This week, California state legislators, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg and Assembly Speaker John Pérez have asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to open an investigation into the Adam Smith Foundation. Steinberg and Pérez believe the foundation may be illegally funneling campaign contributions from third parties to the anti-clean energy campaign.
Because of the Adam Smith Foundation legal status, they are not required to disclose who has provided them with the half million dollars in funding they have funneled to the campaign. Some have speculated that these secret donors are oil companies looking to avoid the negative public relations stemming from openly supporting the repeal of the clean energy bill.