A Texas-based oil company has contributed more than half of the nearly $1 million collected in a drive to suspend California's landmark greenhouse-gas emissions law, documents filed Thursday show.
Valero Services Inc. donated $500,000 to fuel a signature-gathering drive aimed at qualifying an initiative for the November ballot to suspend Assembly Bill 32, signed into law several years ago.
Much of the remaining $466,000 also has been donated by oil companies, documents show.
AB 32 requires the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association contributed $100,000 to the effort, as well as three other oil companies - Tesoro Cos., Tower Energy Group and World Oil Corp., according to the documents filed with the secretary of state.
Donating lesser amounts were Southern Counties Oil Co. -- doing business as Total Energy Products - $50,000; JACO Oil Co., $10,000; Lumber Association of California and Nevada political action committee, $5,000; and Roger Cohen, a retired physicist, $1,000.
A leader of the signature-gathering campaign, Jon Coupal, president of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, met with reporters Thursday and said that "as the days and weeks unfold, our coalition will expand rapidly."
Coupal estimated that a successful signature-gathering drive will need between $1.1 million and $1.6 million. The effort thus far has collected $966,000, disclosure records show.
Meanwhile, Dan Jacobson of Environment California filed a complaint Thursday with the Fair Political Practices Commission contending that the signature-gathering drive did not disclose its donors in a timely manner.
The proposed initiative would suspend AB 32 until California's unemployment level drops to 5.5 percent for at least a year.
Opponents of the greenhouse-gas emissions law contend it could hurt California's economy and hamper unemployment by costing businesses billions to implement.
"California simply cannot afford this brand-new draconian energy tax," Coupal said.
Supporters counter the estimates of implementation costs are exaggerated and that the measure is vital to protect the environment, save money for generations to come, and attract a wave of "green technology" firms to the state.
Steve Maviglio, spokesman for a coalition opposing the initiative, noted that the vast majority of the initiative's money -- more than 72 percent -- has come from oil firms based in Texas.
"It's Texas polluters trying to buy their way onto California's ballot and kill our state's clean-energy economy," he said.
The initiative drive needs to gather about 434,000 signatures by mid-April to qualify for the November ballot.