The Firm Grip of Oil and Gas on California’s Climate Agenda – CA Climate Accountability Project

The Firm Grip of Oil and Gas on California's Climate Agenda

Lobby spending and campaign finance reports have been released for 2023, and one thing is clear: the grip Big oil and gas has on California’s political landscape is stronger than ever.

In 2023 (a non-election year!), the oil and gas industry poured over $1 million into the pockets of California candidates and spent nearly $22 million lobbying against critical climate bills. Sempra Energy stood out as the largest corporate contributor to California Legislators in 2023. This influx of money was strategically deployed to try to deepen influence and delay progress on climate solutions in California. 

Breaking Down the Numbers

The influence of big oil and gas is widespread, with more than three-quarters of California’s legislators receiving fossil fuel money in 2023. This includes 72% of Democrats and 96% of Republicans, indicating a bipartisan attempt to buy influence on the state’s environmental progress. This concerted effort by oil and gas to attempt to control California’s legislative agenda highlights a glaring conflict: while these companies report billions in profits and their CEOs enjoy multi-million dollar paychecks, they spend millions to obstruct the transition to clean energy and maintain high energy prices, leaving California families to bear the burden.

Check out CCAP’s updated Climate Scorecard HERE to see which oil and gas companies are contributing to California legislators and learn how those legislators are voting on key climate policies.