A Look At Prop 23 Donations

Looking at the donations given in support of Proposition 23 is interesting. The top donor is a Texas-based oil company, Valero, which gave a total of $5,075,315. Last week, Valero gave $1 million, according to Maplight.org figures. The second largest donor is Tesoro, another Texas-based oil company, which gave a total of $2,040,637. Last week Tesoro gave $500,000.

The top donors in support of Proposition 23, after Valero and Tesoro, are all oil companies, except for two conservative organizations. One of the organizations, the Adam Smith Foundation, is Missouri-based. The other organization, the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association, is based in California.

Looking at the oil companies that are in the top donor category reveals that all but two of them (Occidental Petroleum Corp. and Tower Energy Group) are out-of-state companies. Both Occidental and Tower are Southern-California based, and gave a combined total of $500,000. Two of the oil companies are from Kansas: Flint Hills Resources and CVR Energy Inc. Marathon Petroleum Company LLC is based in Ohio, and World Oil Corp. is another Texas-based company.

The state with the most contributions in support of the proposition is Texas with $5,266,315, followed by California with $3,104,050, and Kansas with $1,000,000. The state which donated the most to oppose Proposition 23 is California, followed by Virginia and New York.

It must be noted that opponents of the proposition gave nearly three times as much as supporters, with $30.7 million for the opposition, and $10.7 million in support of it.

The top donor to the “No on 23” fund is Thomas Steyer, the Co-Managing Partner of Farallon Capital Management, L.L.C. The National Wildlife Federation comes in second with its $3,000,000 donation. Third place goes to John Doerr, the legendary Silicone Valley venture capitalist.

Below is a list of top donors supporting and opposing Proposition 23:


Oil companies:

  • Valero Services, Inc., $5,075,315 [Texas]
  • Tesoro Companies, $2,040,637 [Texas]
  • Flint Hills Resources, $1,000,000 [Kansas]
  • Marathon Petroleum Company LLC,    $500,000 [Ohio]
  • Occidental Petroleum Corp., $300,000 [California]
  • Tower Energy Group,   $200,000 [California]
  • CVR Energy Inc., $150,000 [Kansas]
  • National Petrochemical & Refiners Assoc., $100,000 [Washington, D.C.]
  • World Oil Corp., $100,000 [Texas]

Conservative organizations:

  • Adam Smith Foundation, $498,000 [Missouri]
  • Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Assoc., $102,568 [California]

By state:

  1. Texas, $5,266,315,
  2. California, $3,104,050
  3. Kansas, $1,000,000


  • Thomas Steyer, $5,049,000
  • National Wildlife Federation, $3,000,000
  • John & Ann Doerr, $2,100,000
  • The League of Conservation Voters, $1,250,000
  • Vinod Khosla, $1,037,267
  • James Cameron, $1,000,000
  • ClimateWorks Foundation, $900,000
  • Sierra Club, $835,890
  • The Nature Conservancy, $800,000
  • Bill Gates, $700,000
  • Green Tech Action Fund, $500,000
  • Pacific Gas & Electric, $500,000

By state:

  1. California, $21,567,634
  2. Virginia, $3,056,040
  3. New York, $1,970,616
Gina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by Mashable.com.