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Tesoro would benefit from the passage of Initiative 1053, but Washington would lose

Tesoro, headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is a major oil refiner. It operates seven oil refineries throughout the western United States, including one in Anacortes, Washington (originally built by Royal Dutch Shell). It also owns eight hundred and seventy branded retail gas stations, of which more than three hundred and eighty are company-operated under the Tesoro, Shell, Mirastar and USA Gasoline brands.

According to the University of Massachusetts, Tesoro is the twenty second largest corporate air polluter in the United States. Its facilities emit 3.74 million pounds of toxic gases into the air every year.

What Tesoro Wants

Like several other massive oil companies that have sunk big bucks into Initiative 1053, Tesoro wants to avoid being held responsible for the pollution it emits into our air and water. In the most recent legislative session, the House and Senate considered legislation that would have slightly increased the hazardous materials tax to pay for cleanup efforts. Lobbyists for Tesoro and the other oil companies pulled out all the stops to defeat the legislation, and they succeeded.

They were so successful in fact, that neither HB 3181 (which had thirty seven cosponsors!), nor its companion bill, SB 6851 (which had twenty four cosponsors!) was brought to the floor for a vote. (The bills died in the respective Rules Committee of the chamber where they were introduced, because they were each short one or two votes).

Though Big Oil won, the environmental movement is already talking about trying to get the cleanup bill passed in 2011. So the oil companies have decided to buy an insurance policy for next year in the form of Tim Eyman’s Initiative 1053.

If I-1053 passes, the Legislature will not be able to increase the hazardous materials tax with a simple majority vote. All the oil lobbyists would have to do is convince a third of one house to oppose such a proposal, and they could kill it.

That’s why Tesoro supports Initiative 1053. They’re not interested in smart public policy. They’re not interested in protecting Washington’s quality of life. They’re interested in their bottom line. It’s just… good business.

Corporate Profile

  • Company Type: Public
  • Traded on:  New York Stock Exchange (TSO)
  • Contribution Address: 19100 Ridgewood Parkway, San Antonio, Texas, 78259
  • Chief Executive: Greg Goff
  • 2010 1st Quarter Revenue: $5.1 billion
  • 2010 1st Quarter Net Profit: $67 million

Contribution History for 2010 Cycle

From Public Disclosure Commission records…
Amount Date Initiative/Sponsor Committee Given To
$15,000 07/01/2010 1053 (Tim Eyman) Citizens for Responsible Spending
$25,000 06/07/2010 1053 (Tim Eyman) Voters Want More Choices
$25,000 05/03/2010 1053 (Tim Eyman) Voters Want More Choices

Total Amount Spent by Tesoro on Electioneering: $65,000

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