Valero Energy, the largest gasoline producer in North America, is giving its customers a side of politics with their petroleum purchase, the Houston affiliate of Fox News reported.
Gas stations that sell Valero gasoline are displaying signs at the pumps, that include a picture of Uncle Sam and issue the warning “If Congress passes Cap & Trade Legislation, you will pay the price.”
The signs continue, “Cap and Trade will cost you 77-cents or more a gallon.” The signs direct consumers to a Valero Web site opposing a bill intended to limit greenhouse gases.
“It’s definitely unprecedented for Valero,” said company spokesman Bill Day. “We’ve never done something like this before. But this particular issue is so important and this particular piece of legislation is so demonstratably bad that we did take the lead on this.”
The new bill before Congress aims to hold refiners solely responsible for their product’s carbon footprint, according to Day. “So when you and I and everybody else drives their car, the manufacturer of the fuel in that car is the one responsible for the carbon emissions, not the owner of the car, not the driver,” he added.
If past, Valero estimates the bill could cost the company $6 billion in carbon allowances every year, which is more than the company made in its most profitable year.
Meanwhile, environmentalists argue that the cost will be passed onto the consumer, which will spur customers to be more environmentally conscious. “They’re not worried about this cost to their business,” said Matthew Tejada, executive director of GHASP (Galveston-Houston Association for Smog Prevention).
“They’re worried about the fact that they know they’re going to pass that (cost) on to the consumer and that’s going to drive the consumer even more quickly to get away from oil.”
Tejada disagrees with the claim on Valero’s Web site that Cap and Trade legislation would make “no measurable improvement on global climate change.” “If somebody doesn’t want Cap and Trade and they aren’t offering a more viable solution,” he added, “what they’re really saying is ‘we don’t want to deal with greenhouse gases, we don’t want to deal with global warming.'”