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Database Reveals How Much Pollution Big Oil’s Top Execs Are Responsible for Each Year

Sun, 07/21/2019 - 20:01
Bob DudleyRead time: 6 mins

Thanks to recent analysis, we now know how much of global greenhouse gas emissions big oil companies like Exxon and Shell are responsible for. But it’s easy to forget that behind these corporate behemoths are powerful individuals, making decisions about where the companies should drill next. 

And thanks to a new database, we can now pinpoint how much of the companies’ pollution each executive is accountable for.

Tags: bpshellGlencoreBob DudleyIvan Glasenberg
Categories: News

Trump's Drilling Leases on Public Lands Could Release 4.7B Metric Tons of Carbon

Sat, 07/20/2019 - 14:02
 Arne Hückelheim, Wikimedia Commons)Read time: 3 mins

By Julie Conley, originally published on Common Dreams

A national conservation group revealed Wednesday that President Donald Trump's drilling leases on public lands could lead to the release of more carbon emissions than the European Union contributes in an entire year.

Tags: TrumpPublic Lands
Categories: News

America’s Big Bet on Selling Fracked Gas to China and the World

Fri, 07/19/2019 - 18:08
LNG carrier shipRead time: 8 mins

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is getting a lot of attention these days, with U.S. producers making major investments in the infrastructure to produce and export LNG to China and the rest of the world for the next several decades.

That's despite LNG looking like a big bet that may not ever pay off. 

Tags: LNGfrackingexportsUS Chinaliquefied natural gas (LNG)
Categories: News

Latest Gulf Storm Brings Tough Choices for Residents of Disappearing Isle de Jean Charles

Thu, 07/18/2019 - 05:31
Resident returns home amid floodwaters on Isle de Jean Charles in LouisianaRead time: 9 mins

While most of Louisiana was spared Barry’s wrath last week, Isle de Jean Charles, a quickly eroding strip of land among coastal wetlands in the Gulf of Mexico, was not. A storm surge swept over the island, about 80 miles southwest of New Orleans, early in the morning on July 13 before Barry was upgraded from a tropical storm to a category 1 hurricane. 

On July 15, I met with Albert Naquin, Chief of the Isle de Jean Charles Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw Tribe (IDJC) and Wenceslaus Billiot Jr., the Tribe’s deputy chief, to travel to the island and assess the damages. That afternoon, we made our way through the receding waters that still covered Island Road, the only route connecting the island to the mainland. Days after the storm, some parts of the road on the island were still submerged in three feet of water. 

Tags: Isle de Jean CharlesIsle de Jean Charles Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw TribeLouisianasea level riseextreme weather
Categories: News

‘We Can't Sit on the Sidelines and Be Climate Deniers,’ Dominion VP Warns Natural Gas Industry

Tue, 07/16/2019 - 22:04
Donald Raikes at DUG EastRead time: 11 mins

Donald Raikes arrived at 2019’s DUG East conference, a major shale gas industry gathering in Pittsburgh, with a mixed set of messages for his fellow fossil energy officials.

“We are faced with a lot of challenges in this industry,” Raikes, senior vice president of gas infrastructure at Dominion Energy, said. “And this morning what I plan to do is use my time to carve out a call for action for all of us. We need to be very aware of the forces that are out there and how they are coming against us.”

What sorts of forces? Raikes warned specifically about opposition from environmental groups.

But Raikes also warned that the oil and gas industry was doing itself no favors by denying that it affects the environment, and he even dipped his toes into the issue of climate science denial.

Tags: dominion energyDUG Eastclimate science denialAtlantic Coast pipeline
Categories: News

Climate Litigation Has Become a Global Trend, New Report Shows

Mon, 07/15/2019 - 21:12
Fossil fuels out of Africa protest at COP22Read time: 4 mins

Originally published on Climate Liability News.

Climate change-related lawsuits, once mostly limited to the U.S., have now been filed in nearly 30 countries, targeting governments and corporate polluters, according to the latest analysis of the trend. 

A new report was published this month by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics. It tracks the progress of the suits — filed since 1990 — as they have expanded beyond the U.S., and predicts the trend will continue. 

Tags: climate litigationclimate lawsuitsCarbon Majors ProjectHuman Rights
Categories: News

Louisiana Braces for a Storm While Weighing New Fossil Fuel Projects

Fri, 07/12/2019 - 21:02
Read time: 7 mins

Yesterday, I stopped writing another story for DeSmog to get ready for what could likely become this year’s first hurricane in the U.S. 

I live in Mandeville, Louisiana, on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain across from New Orleans. My home is above sea level, unlike much of New Orleans, so I’m at a much lower risk for flooding impacts than residents of a city nearly synonymous with flooding.

However, like most residents in south coastal Louisiana, I’m bracing myself for a sustained barrage from the sky, as bands of rain and wind from Tropical Storm Barry arrived in parts of the state this morning. The entire Louisiana coast could be hit with the season’s first hurricane by Saturday.

Tags: Hurricaneextreme weatherLouisianacancer alleypetrochemical development
Categories: News

The ‘Historical Jigsaw of Climate Deception’: Private Notes Show How Big Oil Spread Climate Science Denial

Thu, 07/11/2019 - 20:32
Exxon Knew billboardRead time: 6 mins

We’ve all heard the dodgy arguments: ‘the science is uncertain’, ‘climate change is natural, not down to humans’, ‘science has been hijacked by politics’… Now a new cache of documents sheds light on the origins of the disinformation.  

In another verse of a now familiar refrain, a fossil fuel industry group in the 1990s publicly promoted arguments to undermine confidence in climate science while internally acknowledging their products where driving up temperatures. 

Tags: global climate coalitionClimate Investigations Centerintergovernmental panel on climate changeclimate science denial
Categories: News

Bipartisan Group of Governors Pushes Back on Big Oil, Tells Trump Admin to Halt Clean Car Rollbacks

Tue, 07/09/2019 - 21:18
Parking lot of carsRead time: 6 mins

As the Trump administration scrambles to formalize its rollback of clean car standards, 24 governors are telling the President to pump the brakes on the proposed rule. The governors have signed a letter, as reported this morning in The New York Times, Associated Press, and Bloomberg, requesting that the administration reconsider the rollback of fuel efficiency and emissions standards, and to honor California’s authority under the Clean Air Act to write its own standards, which other states are allowed under the law to sign onto.

Tags: koch vs cleanMarathon PetroleumAFPMkoch industriesclean car standardscafe standardsEnergy4USTrump Administration
Categories: News

David Attenborough Calls on Voters in US and Australia to Respond to Climate Science Denial Among Leaders

Tue, 07/09/2019 - 15:21
Read time: 2 mins

Veteran broadcaster David Attenborough has expressed his disappointment at the rise of climate science denial in the US and Australia and called on voters to respond.

Referencing the rise of climate science denial in some countries while giving evidence to a committee of MPs in the UK, Attenborough said he was “sorry that there are people in power and internationally, notably the United States, but also in Australia” where “those voices are clearly heard”. He said he hoped the “electorate will actually respond” to public figures that promote climate science denial.

Tags: David Attenboroughclimate science denialDonald TrumpAustralia
Categories: News

'Bomb Trains,' a New Book on the Deadly, Ongoing Threat of Oil by Rail

Tue, 07/09/2019 - 10:00
Bomb Trains book cover cropRead time: 7 mins

On July 6, 2013, a train hauling crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken region derailed in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, resulting in fires and explosions that killed 47 people and wiped out a large part of the small Canadian town's center. At the time I was living in Albany, New York, which had become a major distribution point for Bakken oil delivered to the Port of Albany in mile-long trains like the one that devastated Lac-Mégantic. In the six months following the deadly disaster, several more trains of Bakken oil derailed and exploded across North America.

As the risk of these oil trains became very apparent, I began investigating how the trains could be allowed to travel through communities like mine in Albany and started publishing my findings here at DeSmog. Now, just after the six year anniversary of the Lac-Mégantic disaster, I have compiled all of that research into the new book Bomb Trains: How Industry Greed and Regulatory Failure Put the Public at Risk.

Tags: bakken bomb trainsoil train bookoil by railbakken oil trainsoil trainsLac Megantic
Categories: News

Louisiana’s Cancer Alley Residents Take the Fight for Environmental Justice on the Road

Tue, 07/09/2019 - 01:17
Sharon Lavigne and Barbara Washington, St. James Parish residents, in Washington, D.C. Read time: 9 mins

Last month, four residents from Louisiana neighborhoods impacted by air pollution traveled far from their Mississippi River parishes to Washington, D.C., and Tokyo, Japan, seeking help in their struggle for clean air.

St. James Parish’s Sharon Lavigne and Barbara Washington, both fighting to prevent additional petrochemical plant construction near their homes, attended the Congressional Convening on Environmental Justice in Washington, D.C., on June 28. 

Tags: Louisianapetrochemical developmentSt. James ParishSt. John the Baptist Parishcancer alleyBill Cassidy
Categories: News

Here Are Some of the Climate-Linked Disasters and Rollbacks Trump’s ‘Environmental Leadership’ Speech Won’t Cover

Mon, 07/08/2019 - 19:43
Read time: 4 mins

This story is being updated.

President Donald Trump is speaking to “America’s environmental leadership” in an address today, where he reportedly will describe the country’s air and water as clean.

The speech started late, and with a reference to the heavy rains in Washington, D.C.

The rest of the world may be forgiven some skepticism about America’s environmental leadership — particularly under Trump. Within six months of taking office, Donald Trump had announced that he planned to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement, the world’s framework for coordinating the international response to climate change, which scientists and world leaders have described as the most consequential environmental issue of our time.

Tags: Donald Trump
Categories: News

Big Oil's ‘Natural Climate Solutions’ Feasibility Overblown, Critics Say

Sat, 07/06/2019 - 18:02
Deforestation in Central KalimatanRead time: 7 mins

A recently published report has called into question the efficacy of land-based solutions being pushed by NGOs and major oil companies alike to mitigate climate change.

Natural climate solutions (NCS) — including programs referred to as reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+) — represent a body of land-based approaches for capturing carbon from the atmosphere and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. NCS proposals range from enhanced forest management to conservation agriculture and ecosystem restoration.

Tags: Natural Climate SolutionsREDDRoyal Dutch ShellThe Nature ConservancyNature4Climategreenwashing
Categories: News

More Signs That Natural Gas Can’t Compete With Renewables on Cost

Fri, 07/05/2019 - 16:25
solar panels at twilightRead time: 7 mins

From a natural gas industry conference to a major metropolitan area, more signs are emerging that natural gas is in a losing economic battle with renewables and battery storage. And considering recent news that existing fossil fuel projects are already enough to push the world past international climate goals, this emerging economic reality couldn't come soon enough.

Tags: natural gasmethanerenewablessolar plus storage
Categories: News

Philadelphia Explosion One in String of 'Near Miss' Accidents at Refineries Using Deadly Chemical

Wed, 07/03/2019 - 19:44
PES refinery protestRead time: 10 mins

Next Friday, July 12, the Philadelphia Energy Solutions (PES) refinery in south Philadelphia is slated to close its doors, marking the end of an era that began in 1866, one year after the Civil War ended, when 50,000 barrels of kerosene and chemicals were first stored on site.

The plant — which continued to struggle financially after emerging from bankruptcy in August 2018 — experienced a major industrial accident on June 21. That morning, a massive fireball lit up the pre-dawn sky over Philadelphia after leaking hydrocarbon gas had ignited. Five workers were injured, all treated on site. Three explosions shook walls in Philadelphia and the blast was reportedly felt as far away as South Jersey.

Emerging evidence suggests that the disaster could have been far more severe — in large part due to a deadly chemical used at the PES refinery and roughly 50 others nationwide.

Tags: oil refineryPhiladelphia Energy SolutionsPEShydrogen fluoridehydrofluoric acidSunoco
Categories: News

Williams Pipeline Support Highlights Environmental Defense Fund’s Long, Cozy Relationship With Fracking Pseudoscience

Wed, 07/03/2019 - 06:52
The NarrowsRead time: 11 mins

By . Originally posted on Eyes on the Ties, the online news site of Public Accountability Initiative and LittleSis.

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), an environmental group with close ties to the corporate community, has taken a friendly approach to the explosion of the natural gas industry in the United States. In the early years of the fracking boom, EDF touted natural gas as a “bridge fuel” toward renewable energy. The organization helped to promote industry-funded misinformation by signing off on sham studies — for example from the University of Texas and the State University of New York at Buffalo — that claimed fracking was safe, but were fatally marred by basic errors in arithmetic and undisclosed conflicts of interest.

Tags: environmental defense fundfrackingnatural gas pipelines
Categories: News

UCSF Adds Fossil Fuels To Industry Documents Library

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 20:12
Read time: 5 mins

Today, UCSF Library launched a new Fossil Fuel Industry Documents Archive featuring over 1,000 internal documents from the fossil fuel industry illustrating strategies to cast doubt on climate science and delay policy action. The documents were collected over two decades by the Climate Investigations Center.

UC San Francisco's Industry Documents Library (IDL) is a unique resource.  It gathers and organizes internal documents from companies that privatize profits and socialize costs, risks or damage to health or environment.

Real science is often inconvenient for profits, so such companies spend money on politics, disinformation, doubt-creation and attacks on science and scientists, sometimes via “independent” think tanks or front groups often covered here on DeSmog.

UCSF has gotten tobacco documents for decades, but over the last few years has added Drug, Chemical and Food sections to the archive as well. Internal documents from lawsuits, whistleblowers and other sources can be quite valuable for exposing malfeasance, helping community action, backing legislation and supporting lawsuits. It is incredibly helpful to have one database of well-curated documents from multiple industries, as they use similar tactics often employed by some of the same people and organizations, as illustrated by personal experience below.

Tags: tobaccoUCSFfossil fuel documents
Categories: News

CEO of Major Shale Oil Company “Has Second Thoughts” on Fracking Rush, Wall Street Journal Reports

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 00:57
Read time: 6 mins

On Monday, the Wall Street Journal featured a profile of Scott Sheffield, CEO of Pioneer Natural Resources, whose company is known among investors for its emphasis on drawing oil and gas from the Permian basin in Texas using horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Back in 2014, Sheffield told Forbes that he expected Pioneer could produce a million barrels of oil a day from the Permian basin by 2024 – up from 45,000 barrels a day in 2011.

Now, Sheffield, who left the helm of Pioneer in 2016 and returned this February, says that those million-barrel-a-day plans are looking increasingly doubtful as the industry has struggled to prove to investors that it’s capable not only of producing enormous volumes of oil and gas, but that it can do so while booking profits rather than losses.

“We lost the growth investors,” Pioneer CEO Scott Sheffield told the Journal. “Now we’ve got to attract a whole other set of investors.”

Tags: frackingScott Sheffield
Categories: News

Majority of Americans Know Fossil Fuel Companies Drive Climate Change, Should Pay for Damages

Mon, 06/24/2019 - 11:29
Read time: 3 minsExxonKnew protesters

By Karen Savage, Climate Liability News. Originally posted on Climate Liability News.

The majority of Americans say fossil fuel companies should pay for damage caused by climate change, according to a recent poll released by Yale University on Wednesday.

Researchers asked 5,131 Americans how much they think global warming is harming their local communities, who they think should be responsible for paying for the damages, and whether they support lawsuits to hold fossil fuel companies accountable for those costs.

Tags: climate liabilitypublic opinion researchYale Center for Climate Change Communicationsfossil fuel industry
Categories: News