CA Sens Who Fought Fracking Moratorium Got 14x More Money from Big Oil Than Bill's Supporters

Digital artwork illustrated by Patrick Hoesly, via FlickrThe California State Senators who voted 'No' on the fracking moratorium bill on May 29 received 14 times as much money from the oil and gas industry, as those who supported it. The averages break down glaringly: $25,227 for those who helped strike down the moratorium and just $1,772 for the bill's supporters, according to MapLight, a organization revealing money's influence on politics.

Under intense pressure from the Western States Petroleum Association, the California State Senate rejected a bill, SB 1132, that would have placed a moratorium on oil and gas well stimulation treatments, including hydraulic and acid fracturing, until the government completes a scientific study of the practices' impacts on human and environmental health.  

The MapLight analysis of campaign contributions to legislators in office on day of vote from PACs and employees of oil and gas interest was during the period from January 1, 2009 - December 31, 2012. The campaign contributions data source was the National Institute of Money in State Politics

Twenty-one votes were required for the bill to pass. The final vote was 16-16, with eight senators abstaining. Three of the abstainers have been suspended from the Senate due to corruption allegations, according to the group.

"If the five active senators who abstained from voting-all Democrats-voted in favor, the moratorium would have passed," according to the group."The Democrats who abstained from voting on the moratorium have received, on average, 4.5 times as much money from the oil and gas industry as the Democrats who voted 'Yes'."

Senator Jeanne Fuller (R) has received $52,300 from the oil and gas industry, more than any other senator voting on the bill. As can be expected, she voted 'No'.

Fuller is known not only for her big contributions from the oil and gas industry but from corporate agribusiness in Kern County. It was Fuller who sponsored legislation to eradicate striped bass in the Bay-Delta estuary a bill that failed twice due to massive opposition by recreational anglers and grassroots environmentalists.

A link to this data release can be found here: http://maplight.org/content/fr...  

Background on oil industry money and power:

The oil industry is most powerful corporate lobby in California. A report released on April 1, 2014 by the ACCE Institute and Common Cause reveals that Big Oil's combined spending on lobbying and political campaigns in Sacramento amounts to a stunning $266.9 million over the past 15 years. This massive spending enables the oil industry to effectively buy the votes of many State Assembly Members and Senators.

But the oil industry exerts its influence not just through spending enormous sums on lobbying and contributions to political campaigns, but by serving on state and federal government panels.

In one of the biggest conflicts of interest in California environmental history, Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President of the Western States Petroleum Association, served as the Chair of the Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative Task Force to create so-called "marine protected areas" in Southern California, as well as sitting on the task forces for the Central Coast, North Central Coast and North Coast.

It is no surprise that the alleged "Yosemites of the Sea" created under Reheis-Boyd's "leadership" fail to protect the ocean from fracking, oil drilling, pollution, military testing, corporate aquaculture and all human impacts on the ocean other than sustainable fishing and tribal gathering. It is also no surprise that the oil industry was fracking like crazy in Southern California ocean waters at the same time that Reheis-Boyd and MLPA Initiative advocates were greenwashing one of the most corrupt environmental processes in California history.  

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