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Felonius Ax of the Billionaires for Petroleum Polluter Profits here to shine some much-needed light on a terrifying piece of legislation worming its way through the California legislature. SB 350, the “Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015” has already passed the Senate and it’s headed to the Assembly. Jerry Brown is poised to sign it into law.

SB 350 Threatens Petroleum Profits—Clifford J. Tasner

SB 350 Threatens Petroleum Profits—Clifford J. Tasner

Yes, the bill will make California air much more breathable, and it’s certain to spur the development of technologies to harness renewable energy sources. And the reduction of carbon emissions that it calls for are bound to slow the effects of Climate Change down and serve for a model for other states to adopt.

One of our dreams is a California where every bit of oil under the Monterey Shale has been fracked by our companies and sold to the Chinese! 

But as laudable as all these goals are, the bill is bound to devastate one small minority community – those of us who are executives in the Petroleum Industry. We are human beings too! And according to the US Supreme Court, so are the petrochemical corporations we represent. We have passions and dreams just like other Californians. One of our dreams is a California where every bit of oil under the Monterey Shale has been fracked by our companies and sold to the Chinese! 

That’s why we’ve been running ads warning you that gas prices will rise astronomically if this bill should pass. How can we be so sure? Well, you know how the tyrants at the Air Resources Board require a cleaner burning summer fuel blend here than the rest of the states, and gas in California is so much more expensive than elsewhere? You think it’s a coincidence that several California refineries are offline for maintenance or repairs at any given time? Witness our patently passive-aggressive penalty for having to manufacture cleaner gas and just imagine how punitive we’re going to be if SB 350 should become law and California has to reduce its consumption of the very substance that is such a sweet source of our profits!

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SB 350 contains a 50-50-50 formula: 50% of California’s energy from renewable sources by 2030, 50% greater energy efficiency in buildings and a 50% reduction in petroleum use. This last one in particular rankles our refineries. So we have a 50-50-50 plan of our own: 50% fewer environmental laws regulating our industry, 50% less whining about greenhouse gases on the part of the tree-huggers who are pushing this legislation and finally, 50% more drilling and fracking all over California, including those coasts. Santa Barbara beaches get tainted by a little tar from the latest oil spill, and suddenly our business model is somehow negligent?! 

And we have a message to the “moderate” Democratic representatives who hold the fortunes of this bill in your cash hungry hands: Don’t listen to the voices of the special interests – like these constituents of yours who want to breathe cleaner air and live in a planet that isn’t getting steadily warmer! We didn’t lavish all those generous campaign contributions on you because we liked your ideas or admired your principles. Some of you might be running for reelection next year, or for higher office, and Petroleum Industry donations can buy a lot of campaign mailers and ad time! You gotta dance with the one’s who brung ya! And the music started when the Senate passed this distressing bill. So may we have this dance? 

SB 350 will be voted on in the Assembly this week. So Californians, it’s time to get your priorities straight! Are you going to stand with the selfish mob that wants to breathe cleaner air, or are you going to dare to stand up for a small beleaguered minority of Billionaires with a lot of investments in Big Oil to protect our unique way of life?

Don’t consign California’s cultural legacy of oil platforms off the coast, fracking operations near our aquifers, and smog over our cities and valleys to the dustbin of history! Let your state representative know before it’s too late!

clifford felonious ax tasner

Clifford J. Tasner (AKA Felonious Ax)