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By Robert Rapier on Aug 25, 2006 with no responses

More on California’s Proposition 87

Previously, I wrote an essay describing exactly why California’s Prop 87 will raise gasoline prices for Californians:

California’s Proposition 87

Yesterday, the Yes on 87 campaign put out a strange press release. It read in part:

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 24 /PRNewswire/ — The following memo was sent to the CEO’s of ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, and other oil companies opposing Prop. 87:

TO: CEOs of ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, and other oil companies opposing Prop. 87

FROM: Chad Griffin, Campaign Manager, Yes on 87

RE: Staffing Changes at No on 87

The full page New York Times ad run yesterday by your national political operation — the American Petroleum Institute — highlighted a messaging problem within your California campaign against Proposition 87. The ad stated: “… the global price of crude oil is the single most important factor in what you pay for fuel at the pump.” (Please see the full text of this ad, which I have attached.)

As a professional, I feel compelled to inform you that your California agents are taking your money and taking you for a ride.

The oil companies’ top flack in California, Chamber CEO Alan Zaremberg, has been saying Proposition 87 will increase gas prices at the pump. But according to the API “the global price of crude oil is the single most important factor in what you pay for fuel at the pump,” not local fees like the ones already charged in Alaska, Louisiana and Texas. Zaremberg is clearly off message and is clearly disregarding the oil industry’s talking points.

Bizarre. Do you see the problem? Chad Griffin, the campaign manager for Yes on 87, apparently thinks “the single most important factor” is synonymous with “the only factor.” After all, what exactly is he saying here? He is suggesting that Zaremberg is wrong in suggesting that Proposition 87 will increase gas prices, since the price of crude is the single most important factor in the price. Hey, I have an idea for California based on Mr. Griffin’s faulty logic. Why don’t they just increase gasoline taxes by $0.50 a gallon? Since gasoline taxes are not the “the single most important factor”, then raising gas taxes won’t affect the price of gasoline. At least it won’t if I apply Mr. Griffin’s twisted logic. Of course I should probably point out that placing an additional fee on a barrel of oil DOES increase the cost of crude.

Mr. Griffin, I am a professional myself. I know a lot about how gasoline is priced. I feel compelled to inform you that you are taking Californians and their money for a ride. Prop 87 will definitely raise gasoline prices. And you know the worst thing for consumers? Prop 87 proponents will have no accountability at all for this. If you are wrong (and you are), and Prop 87 increases gasoline prices, then how will you rectify that with the citizens of California? After all, a big emphasis of your campaign is that gasoline prices are too high. What is the accountability of the Prop 87 proponents if this measure pushes gasoline prices even higher? I think you realize that you won’t be held accountable. In fact, when prices go up as a result of this measure, my guess is that oil companies will once again be blamed. You will probably be the first to point the finger in their direction.

Remember, citizens of California, when the gap between gas prices in California and the rest of the country widens next year, this is who you can hold accountable. From the press release above:

Yes on 87, Californians for Clean Alternative Energy, a coalition of consumer advocates, public health and environmental organizations, scientists and business leaders.

Major funding by Steve Bing and Vinod Khosla.
P.O. Box 67205 Los Angeles, CA 90067
phone: 323.782.1045 fax: 323.782.1035

Disclaimer: While I work for an oil company, my company is not listed among those contributing money to the campaign against Prop 87. I have heard no information that my company is opposing this measure, so I definitely don’t pretend to speak on behalf of them. These opinions are solely mine.