FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, 01 April 2014

CONTACT:
Brett Abrams : 516-841-105 : brett@fitzgibbonmedia.com
Maurice Weeks: 973-494-2461: mweeks@calorganize.org

New Report & Website Highlight Big Oil’s Campaign Contributions As Lawmakers Debate Tax on Oil Extraction in California

Report: In the Last 15 Years, Big Oil Spent $143m on Campaign Contributions and $123m on Lobbyists in CA

Activists Urge Rep. Galgiani (D), Rep. Correa (D), and Rep. Hueso (D) to Represent Their Constituents, Not Big Oil

CALIFORNIA -- With lawmakers on the Senate Education committee in Sacramento set to vote on Wednesday April 2nd on a new oil extraction tax that would raise more than $2 billion in revenue for the State, a new report by the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) -- in conjunction with the launch of a new website by Courage Campaign -- highlight Big Oil’s lobbying efforts and campaign contributions, juxtaposing those with ongoing economic devastation in communities across the State.

The new report, by the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment and Common Cause, Big Oil Floods the Capitol: How California’s Oil Companies Funnel Funds Into the Legislature, outlines how over the last 15 years, Big Oil has spent more than $143 million on campaign contributions and more than $123 million on lobbyists to influence California legislators.   

“On the heels of three California Senators facing separate accusations of influence peddling and unethical behavior, it has never been more important to shine a light on the money that industries like Big Oil spend to advance their agenda. We’ve had enough of this “pay to play” system in which money talks -- it’s time for our elected officials to listen to the people of this state, and make Big Oil pay their fair share”, said Vivian Richardson, community leader and Board Chair of ACCE.

VIEW THE REPORT HERE: http://www.refundcalifornia.org/bigoilfloodsthecapitol

In conjunction with the report, the California-based CourageCampaign.org has launched a new website, the Big Oil Beacon. It profiles the lawmakers of the Senate Education committee set to vote on a tax on oil extraction, comparing the contributions they’ve received from Big Oil versus the needs of their constituents who are currently in poverty, without childcare, or buried in student loan debt.   

VIEW THE BIG OIL BEACON HERE: http://BigOilBeacon.com/

“Prop 30 stopped the bleeding, but Californians are still hurting, badly. We have the highest poverty rate in the nation, while the safety net remains in tatters. Vital support for childcare, healthcare, nutrition, and housing that was fundamental to the well-being of every Californian was slashed during the Great Recession and has yet to be restored,” explained Dr. Paul Song, executive chairman of CourageCampaign.org. “We can raise over $2 billion in additional revenue for Californians by doing what all other major oil producing states do -- taxing the extraction of oil and gas from our State. As the Big Oil Beacon makes clear, there is only one legitimate choice to make if lawmakers want to represent their constituents, rather than Big Oil, and that is to support SB 1017.”

Vanessa Aramayo, Director of California Partnership, says “California has the highest rate of poverty in the country and our communities continue to suffer from years of devastating budget cuts to vital programs that help our families stay afloat. Meanwhile, we’re letting giant oil corporations that are making billions of dollars of profits every year get away with not paying what they owe to our State, our families, and to our communities. It’s time we demanded big oil pay its fair share, and help build a California where we can all prosper and thrive.”

On Wednesday, April 2nd, ahead of the Senate Education Committee vote on SB 1017, a tax on oil drilling and extraction in California, Eddie Kurtz of Courage Campaign, members of ACCE and numerous student, community and labor allies will testify.        
                      
For more information, or interviews with CourageCampaign.org, ACCE, or California Partnership, please contact Brett Abrams at 516-841-1105 or by email at brett@fitzgibbonmedia.com.

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CourageCampaign.org fights for a more progressive California and country. We are an online community powered by more than 850,000 members.

ACCE is a community organization of low and moderate income families across California organizing door by door and neighborhood by neighborhood to build community power and advance policies in the interests of working families and their communities. 

California Partnership is a statewide coalition of anti-poverty organizations, organizing and advocating for a California where everyone has enough to thrive.