ChevronTexaco Heavily Influenced California Restructuring

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s (R) recently announced plan to comprehensively reorganize state government brought grumbles from some enviros, who were piqued by the proposed consolidation of various boards and commissions from which many of the state’s groundbreaking environmental initiatives have emerged. This latest news isn’t going to mollify them. The proposed reorganization contains several provisions that would directly benefit oil and gas behemoth ChevronTexaco by revising the process for permitting and siting refineries and streamlining the activities of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, which oversees many of the company’s interests in the Bay area. While environmental watchdog groups and local agencies that oversee the company complain that they had little access during the plan’s development process, ChevronTexaco’s lobbyists, attorneys, and trade groups were intimately involved at every step, perhaps because the company has given more than $200,000 to Schwarzenegger’s political committees since he was elected, and $500,000 to the California Republican Party.