A Holiday Gift to Big Oil

Another 30 years of tankers in Santa Monica Bay?

No surprises. Today, the State Lands Commission provided an early Christmas present to Chevron.

As if they needed it.

The Commission voted 2-1 (controller Chiang was the no vote) to approve a 30 year lease for the offshore marine terminal used by oil tankers. No changes and nearly free rent of the Bay for the next 30 years (any renters out there getting longer than an annual lease? Even a 5 year lease?). And worse, no new marine mammal protection measures. Zero. Zed. Zippo. Zilch.

Was it the support from Manhattan Beach, El Segundo, the Sea World Hubbs Research institute, the Tree Musketeers, the Roundhouse, and the long beach sportfishing community? I felt bad that all of the recipients of Chevron’s philanthropy were obligated to speak in support of the lease. But I don’t think it influenced the Commission’s decision. That was greased long ago between Chevron, Maldonado and the Governor.

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A December to Remember

Packages

Who's naughty or nice? This holiday season holds the promise of great gifts for the regional environment

December brings connotations of the holiday season.  Office parties, vacations, holiday shopping, football bowl games, family gatherings, overeating, lighting the menorah, and Christmas lights and trees.  For Heal the Bay, this December is anything but a time to ease into the new year.  As always, there is our push for year-end giving.  Tis the season for charitable write offs.  Also, once again, Heal the Bay is spearheading the Day Without a Bag event.  Over 25,000 bags will be given away at over 150 locations throughout L.A. County on Dec. 16 as a reminder to bring reusable bags whenever you go shopping.  Once again, partners include L.A. County, Los Angeles, other cities, retailers, grocers and other environmental groups.  This year, the event has spread across much of the state with counties from San Diego to San Francisco participating.

However, this December is as busy as any previous December I can remember.  Continue reading

Actually, We Don’t Agree

Chevron's cynical ads spurred funny parody.

We’ve been bombarded with half-page Chevron ads in the Los Angeles Times for over a month and a half now. I guess with the current financial state of the Times, any ad is a good for them. At least Clippers owner Donald Sterling’s hokey-looking award announcements can’t fill up the entire front section.

The ubiquitous ads highlight common-sense advice about  energy policy with compelling stills of indigenous people, children and everyday people like you and me.  Then the “We Agree” tagline follows with signatures from Chevron’s CEO or some other corporate executive. (Who knew Karl Rove was moonlighting as a copywriter?)

The campaign spawned a brilliant parody from The Yes Men working with The Rainforest Action Network and Amazon Watch.  There’s even a contest for the public to come up with even funnier parody ads.

The spot featuring the little girl and the tag line “It’s time oil companies get behind the development of renewable energy” pisses me off the most.  After all, Chevron, along with Big Alcohol and Big Tobacco, bankrolled Proposition 26.  So I guess Chevron is behind the development of renewable energy as long as it is voluntary and maximizes shareholder profits.

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