Did the Western States Petroleum Association Kill Bill AB 1323?

By Roy L Hales

Screen-shot-2014-03-18-at-3.43.47-PM1The Western States Petroleum Association has spent more lobbying than any other special interest group in California. According to figures from the Secretary of State, they spent $5.7 million in 2012 and $2.2 million in the first six months of 2013.  That is more than any other lobby group in  California. According to Dan Bacher of California Progress Report, “Because of the enormous influence exerted by the group and the oil companies themselves in the Capitol, all but one bill to regulate or ban fracking was defeated in the Legislature this year.”

One of the most promising anti-fracking bills was AB-1323, which called for a report to determine the effect Fracking would have on California’s water supply, environment, air quality and the possibility of triggering earthquakes. This report was also meant to determine the conditions under which fracking be permitted in California?

AB 1323 went down to defeat 24-37, with 18 votes not cast. As one might expect, if Bacher’s assertion about the oil lobby’s influence is correct: 62% of the politicians who voted this bill down also listed “oil and gas” among their top ten campaign contributors. The real questions: Was Western States Petroleum Association rewarding the politicians who voted against AB 1323 for their beliefs? Or were some policians selling their votes? Given that lobbying is an accepted part of political life: Even if the worst scenario were true, what can we do about it?

Want to see votes? Here they are, with oil & gas contributions  AYES – (24) – (Not one showed up in top 10) 

Ammiano, Tom – not in top 10
Atkins, Toni – Not in top 10
Bloom, Richard – Not in top 10
Blumenfield – not in data
Campos, Nora – Not in top 10
Chau, Ed – Not in top 10
Chesbro, Wesley – Not in top 10
Dickinson, Roger – Not in top 10
Fong, Paul – Not in top 10
Gatto, Mike – Not in top 10
Gomez, Jimmy – Not in top 10
Gordon, Rich – Not in top 10
Levine , Marc – Not in top 10
Lowenthal, Bonnie – Not in top 10
Mitchell, Holly – Not in top 10
Muratsuchi, Al – Not in top 10
Nazarian, Adrin – Not in top 10
Rendon, Anthony – Not in top 10
Skinner, Nancy – Not in top 10
Stone, Mark – Not in top 10
Ting, Phil – Not in top 10
Williams, Das -Not in top 10
Yamada – Not in top 10
Pérez,John – Not in top 10

NOES – (62%  has “gas & oil” in top 10) 
Achadjian, Katcho – $15,150

Allen, Travis – not in top 10
Bigelow – not in top 10
Bonilla, Susan – $22,000
Brown, Cheryl – $7,500
Chávez, Rocky – not in top 10
Conway, Connie – $47,850
Dahle, Brian – not in top 10
Daly, Tom – $12,300
Donnelly, Tim – not in top 10
Eggman, Susan – not in top 10
Fox, Steve – not in top 10
Frazier, Jim – $11,300
Gaines, Beth – $28,600
Gorell, Jeff – $10,300
Gray, Adam – $22,200 
Grove, Shannon – $20,850
Hagman, Curt – $19,700
Harkey, Diane – $22,150
Jones, Brian – $13,400
Linder, Eric – not in top 10
Logue, Dan – $23,300
Maienschein, Brian – $8,800
Mansoor, Allan – $10,400
Medina, Jose – Not in top 10
Melendez, Melissa – $5,000
Morrell, Mike – $14,900
Nestande, Brian – $28,400
Olsen, Kristen – $23,100
Patterson, Jim – Not in top 10
Perea, Henry – $41,900
Pérez, Manuel – not in top 10
Salas, Rudy – $11,900
Wagner, Don – Not in top 10
Waldron, Marie – $5,150
Weber, Shirley – not in top 10
Wilk – not in top 10

ABSENT, ABSTAINING, OR NOT VOTING – 18 (28% has “oil & gas) )
Alejo, Luis – Not in top 10
Bocanegra, Raul – Not in top 10
Bonta, Rob – Not in top 10
Bradford, Steven – $17,650
Buchanan, Joan – Not in top 10
Calderon, Ian – Not in top 10
Cooley, Ken – Not in top 10
Garcia, Cristina – Not in top 10
Gonzalez, Lorena – N/A
Hall, Isadore – $35,500
Hernández, Roger – $25,300
Holden, Chris – Not in top 10
Jones-Sawyer, Reggie – $8,000
Mullin, Kevin – Not in top 10
Pan, Richard – Not in top 10
Quirk, Bill – Not in top 10
Quirk-Silva, Sharon – Not in top 10
Wieckowski, Bob – $17,610

(Image at top of page: Oil wells and storage tanks; Midway-Sunset Oil Field, near Maricopa -User:Antandrus, courtesy Wikipedia Commons )

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