California’s Biggest Polluters Spending $3M to Pollute Politics

Released by: Environment California

The owner of Phillips66 San Francisco Refinery spent $3,710,000 on lobbying in a single year, according to a new report by Environment California. The enormous spending came after Phillips66 San Francisco Refinery dumped 741,459 pounds of toxic chemicals into California’s waterways in 2012.  

Environment California released its "Polluting Politics" report shortly after the introduction of a House bill to block the EPA’s clean water rule to restore Clean Water Act protections to thousands of waterways in California and across the country.

“As it turns out, the same companies that are polluting our rivers with toxic chemicals are also polluting our politics with their spending,” observed Ally Fields, federal clean water advocate for Environment California.

Environment California’s report links discharges of toxic chemicals as reported in the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory for 2012 with federally reported campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures.

Major findings of the report include:

  • Phillips66 San Francisco Refinery dumped 741,459 pounds of toxic pollution into California’s waterways. Its owner, Phillips 66, spent $3,710,000 on lobbying in the same year.

Right now, polluters are lobbying their allies on Capitol Hill to derail EPA’s plan to restore Clean Water Act protections to 139,599 miles of streams in California. Loopholes in the law currently leave the waterways that feed the drinking water for 7,314,715 Californians at risk.

“When powerful special interests spend millions to influence our elections and lobby decision makers, they drown out the voices of everyday Americans.” said Fields. “To make sure we’re able to protect our environment and our health, we need reforms to stop the flow of big money into politics.”

“It’s clear that California polluters have deep pockets, but thousands of Californians have raised their voices in support of doing more to protect California’s waterways,” Fields said. “It’s time for Congress to listen to citizens, not the polluters, and let the EPA finish the job to protect our waterways.”