Texas oil companies are the villains in the latest production by Academy Award-winner James Cameron, the director behind movie blockbusters including “Terminator,” “Titanic” and “Avatar.”
In a one-minute video designed to sink a controversial measure on Tuesday’s ballot, Cameron blames “two oil companies from Texas” for perpetrating “the ultimate real-life disaster” on the good citizens of California in the form of a ballot proposition designed to suspend tough state greenhouse gas emissions standards.
The Texas energy giants in question — Tesoro and Valero — are helping to finance the campaign in favor of Proposition 23, which would overturn a law signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006 requiring greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced to 1990 levels by 2020. Supporters of the measure, which also include California Occidental Petroleum and the free-market Adam Smith Foundation, say the law will cost the recession-wracked state more than a million jobs.
Meredith McDermott/Hearst Newspapers
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger: Terminate Texas oil companies’ schemes.
Cameron, an environmental advocate when he’s not busy in Hollywood, only mentioned the Texas companies in the pun-filled commercial designed to connect with moviegoers of all political persuasions.
“Two oil companies from Texas are pushing Prop 23,” he said. “This deceptive ballot measure would be the ultimate real-life disaster, terminating our air pollution standards, sinking our clean-energy economy and exploiting our economy for profit.”
Prop 23 would suspend the 2006 law until unemployment levels for the state drop to 5.5 percent for at least one year. The jobless rate is currently 12.4 percent.
Cameron pleads with viewers to kill the Texans’ scheme.
“Tell your friends, family, cyborgs and avatars to vote no on Proposition 23, before it’s too late,” he says, before the camera refocuses on Schwarzenegger.
“Why do you keep calling my a cyborg?” the actor-turned-politician who played a “Terminator” cyborg asks.
“So — Gov. Cyborg?” responds Cameron.