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ConocoPhillips would benefit from the passage of Initiative 1053, but Washington would loseÂ

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, ConocoPhillips owns the Conoco, Phillips 66, and Union 76 brands. It is a descendant of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, formed by the merger of Conoco (previously Continental Oil Company) and Phillips Petroleum in 2002. It is the fifth largest energy company in the world that is not government owned.

According to the University of Massachusetts, ConocoPhillips is the eleventh largest corporate air polluter in the United States. In 2006, its facilities emitted 6.39 million pounds of toxic gas into the air.

Assets in Washington State

ConocoPhillips’ major assets in Washington State include:

  • a refinery in Ferndale, located at 3901 Unick Road, Ferndale, WA, 98248
  • a storage terminal in Renton, located at 2423 Lind Avenue SW, Renton, WA 98055
  • a storage terminal in Spokane, located at 6317 E Sharp Avenue, Spokane, WA 99212

What ConocoPhillips Wants

Like several other massive oil companies that have sunk big bucks into Initiative 1053, ConocoPhillips 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 ConocoPhillips 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 ConocoPhillips 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 (COP)
  • Contribution Address: 600 N Dairy Ashford Street, Houston, Texas, 77079
  • Chief Executive:  James J. Mulva
  • 2010 1st Quarter Revenue: $44 billion
  • 2010 1st Quarter Net Profit: $2.1 billion

Contribution History for 2010 Cycle

From Public Disclosure Commission records…
Amount Date Initiative/Sponsor Committee Given To
$25,000 06/14/2010 1053 (Tim Eyman) Voters Want More Choices
$25,000 05/11/2010 1053 (Tim Eyman) Voters Want More Choices

Total Amount Spent by ConocoPhillips on Electioneering: $50,000