Toxic Lobbying & PR

Valero funds lobbying and PR that threaten Benicians’ air and health.

With market value of $48 billion, Texas-based Valero Energy Corporation is a major member of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), an oil industry association that has been described as “the most powerful corporate lobbying group in Sacramento.”

This is not to Benicia’s benefit. Many WSPA stances on crucial issues have potentially put Benicians’ and/or other Californians’ well-being at risk. Such stances include:

  • Last year, the WSPA unsuccessfully fought against the Bay Area Air Quality Monitoring District adopting anti-pollution measures that could well save lives and health care costs in the area. “The board voted to require refineries to install technology that would slash particulate output from the units by 70%, according to the air district. It is a technology that is already widely in use, even in oil-friendly states like Texas.” The WSPA took this position despite District estimates “that exposure to particulate matter from the Chevron refinery in Richmond increases mortality in the region by up to 10 deaths per year, while the PBF Energy refinery in Martinez adds up to six deaths per year . . . ” and that the “proposed changes to the Chevron plant alone could result in up to $27 million in health cost savings to those living nearby…”

These are but a few examples of environmental, health and safety initiatives that Valero has opposed through the lobbying and PR work of the WSPA.

With positions such as this on the state level, what might the “Working Families” PAC, and by extension Valero, be seeking to do if it successfully influences our City Council election?