Last week Arnold Schwarzenegger lashed out at oil companies Tesoro and Valero for bankrolling Proposition 23, which would disable California’s global warming reduction measures until the state‘s unemployment rate dropped to 5.5% or below for four consecutive quarters. That’s something that has happened just three times since 1980. The governor used these fighting words in calling out the companies:

“Does anybody really believe that these companies, out of the goodness of their black oil hearts, are spending millions and millions of dollars to protect jobs? This is like Eva Braun writing a kosher cookbook. It’s not about jobs at all, ladies and gentlemen. It is about their ability to pollute and thus protect their profits.”

Tesoro and Valero (which sounds a little like a vaudeville act) didn’t take kindly to Schwarzenegger’s characterization, and last weekend their CEOs wrote an op-ed for the San Jose Mercury News in which they said they were:

“disappointed…to hear Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger once again misrepresent and demonize our companies and our workers, who have been working day after day to provide Californians with the products and services they need to live their lives.

The editorial goes on to lay out the reasons for supporting Proposition 23.

Meanwhile, David Horsey in the San Francisco Chronicle praised the governor for taking on the oil companies, stating “Arnold Schwarzenegger might be leaving office with a mixed record of accomplishment, but when it comes to challenging these modern-day bandits of industry, he could be the boldest action hero we’ve got.”

(The San Francisco Bay Guardian, by the way, disagrees.)

Black oil hearts strike back 6 October,2010Jon Brooks


Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks is the host and editor of KQED’s health and technology blog, Future of You. He is the former editor of KQED’s daily news blog, News Fix. A veteran blogger, he previously worked for Yahoo! in various news writing and editing roles. He was also the editor of, which documented user-generated content about the financial crisis and recession. Jon is also a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S. He has written about film for his own blog and studied film at Boston University. He has an MFA in Creative Writing from Brooklyn College.

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