Capitol Alert

Lobbyists pile on greenhouse-gas reduction bill

FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2007 file photo, the sun sets behind an oil refinery on Rosedale Highway, in Bakersfield, Calif. More than 200 businesses, trade groups, nonprofit groups and others report lobbying on Senate Bill 350, a bill meant to reduce emissions blamed for climate change.
FILE - In this Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2007 file photo, the sun sets behind an oil refinery on Rosedale Highway, in Bakersfield, Calif. More than 200 businesses, trade groups, nonprofit groups and others report lobbying on Senate Bill 350, a bill meant to reduce emissions blamed for climate change. AP

Perhaps no end-of-session fight is as fierce as that over Senate Bill 350, the legislation by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León and backed by Gov. Jerry Brown meant to slash motor vehicle fuel consumption, double buildings’ energy efficiency and increase the use of renewable electricity.

The climate change measure faces uncertain prospects as lawmakers hurry to finish their work for the legislative year. Yet government filings make one thing clear: the range of interests engaged in the SB 350 debate is broad and deep-pocketed.

From oil producers and solar companies to farm groups, manufacturers and public agencies, more than 200 lobbyist employers reported working on the bill in quarterly filings with the state from January through June, shortly before lawmakers left for their summer recess. They returned Aug. 17.

All told, those interests reported almost $14 million in direct lobbying expenses on SB 350 or other state matters in the first six months of the year. They also listed $10.5 million in other payments to influence, an amount that includes other public advocacy efforts by opponents and supporters of the bill through June. Both sides launched advertising campaigns in recent weeks.

The Western States Petroleum Association, California Chamber of Commerce, Chevron Corp. and NextGen Climate Action, the group led by billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, an ardent supporter of the bill, ranked atop the list of lobbyist employers that reported working on SB 350.

Besides the payments to influence, many of the interests involved in the debate over SB 350 have donated generously to current members of the Legislature.

Lawmakers reported at least $5 million in donations from SB 350-engaged lobbyist employers that have a campaign committee, according to contribution records from January 2013 through June. The State Building and Construction Trades Council, the California New Car Dealers Association, the California State Pipe Trades Council and the California Building Industry Association lead that list.

The Sacramento Bee’s Data Tracker is a weekly feature that offers a deeper look at the numbers behind today’s news. Jim Miller: 916-326-5521, @jimmiller2

Lobbyist employers

State lobbyist filings from Jan. 1 through June 30 show more than 200 companies, trade groups, local governments, and nonprofit organizations have lobbied on Senate Bill 350. These are the totals that 20 of the groups spent to lobby on all state government issues:

Name of entity that reports lobbying on SB 350

Total

Western States Petroleum Association

$2,529,241

California Chamber of Commerce

$2,120,485

Chevron Corp. and its subsidiaries

$1,531,382

California Manufacturers and Technology Association

$767,608

Pacific Gas and Electric Co.

$747,206

NextGen Climate Action

$729,241

California Building Industry Association

$705,879

Southern California Edison

$623,636

Sempra Energy

$614,486

Phillips 66

$506,780

California Retailers Association

$502,315

Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers

$474,464

National Federation of Independent Business

$469,348

California New Car Dealers Association

$445,021

California Transit Association

$442,751

Sierra Club California

$345,299

California Restaurant Association

$327,691

Solarcity Corp.

$323,144

Automobile Club of Southern California

$317,415

L.A. County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

$298,934

Source: Bee analysis of California secretary of state filings

Top donors

Many of the groups lobbying on SB 350 reported donations to current lawmakers from January 2013 through June 2015. These have given the most:

Name

Amount

State Building and Construction Trades Council

$807,759

California New Car Dealers Association

$579,100

California State Pipe Trades Council

$403,300

California Building Industry Association

$330,600

California Restaurant Association

$210,600

Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers

$141,527

California Chamber of Commerce

$134,551

California Independent Oil Marketers

$104,837

California Grain and Feed Association

$97,200

Valero

$92,599

Technology Network

$74,300

California Retailers Association

$66,900

Western Growers

$61,634

California Poultry Federation

$59,000

Large-Scale Solar Association

$45,130

California Manufacturers and Technology Assoc.

$44,500

California Seed Association

$39,150

Pacific Merchant Shipping Association

$29,600

General Motors

$24,100

California League of Food Processors

$23,100

Pacific Egg and Poultry Association

$21,800

National Federation of Independent Businesses

$19,200

California Wind Energy Association

$13,500

California Dump Truck Association

$13,500

California Business Properties Association

$13,000

Note: Totals reflect contributions identified with a campaign-committee number.

Source: Bee analysis of California secretary of state filings

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