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GOP Tax Law Bails Out Fracking Companies Buried in Debt

Thu, 04/26/2018 - 15:44
A Scrabble board spells out 'Bankruptcy' overlaid on an unconventional oil and gas rig

EOG Resources is one of the top companies in the fracking industry, and thanks to the new tax bill passed by Republicans and President Donald Trump at the end of last year, EOG had an exceptionally strong year compared to 2016.

In 2017, the company reported a net income of $2.6 billion. The previous year? A loss of $1.1 billion. That financial turnaround seems very impressive until you realize that $2.2 billion, or about 85 percent, of its 2017 income was the result of the new tax law. Without that gift from the GOP and Trump, EOG would have lost approximately $700 million between those two years. Instead they are $1.5 billion ahead of the game.

Tags: shale oildebtBankruptcyTrump tax billEOG Resources (NYSE: EOG)Harold Hammfracking
Categories: News

Is Fossil Fuel Industry Secretly Behind a New Campaign Against Fossil Fuel Divestment?

Wed, 04/25/2018 - 17:11

By Andy Rowell, crossposted with permission from Oil Change International

Last week a newly formed organization, The Institute for Pension Fund Integrity (IPFI), published its first “white paper” on the topical issue of  “getting politics out of pensions”.

Reviewing the report, the headline on the Institutional Investor website summed up the main finding: “New Pensions Group Says Forget About Climate Change”.

Tags: DCI groupInstitute for Pension Fund Integrity (IFPI)Cambridge Global AdvisorsChristopher Burnham
Categories: News

Pruitt's 'Transparency' Rule Would Use Big Tobacco Plan to Gut EPA Science

Tue, 04/24/2018 - 23:34
Scott Pruitt

Note from the editor: On April 24, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt released a proposed rule that would restrict which scientific studies EPA could use in creating new regulations. The move — already controversial when it was first revealed over a month ago — would prevent EPA from considering studies in which the data is not available to the public, including the private health information of individuals in medical studies, and which is based on one-time events, such as the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Prominent climate science deniers were in attendance at the EPA announcement, including Marc Morano, Steve Milloy, and Will Happer

Tags: Scott PruittU.S. Environmental Protection AgencyEPA Science Advisory Boardbig tobaccochris hornersteve milloy
Categories: News

Low Octane: The Surprising Reason Shale Oil Makes a Poor Fuel for High-Tech Cars and Trucks

Tue, 04/24/2018 - 11:58
Gas pump

Shale oil, which the Energy Information Administration projects will represent a rising proportion of American oil supplies in the coming decades, has a surprising Achilles heel: its low octane levels, which make it a poor fit for the high-efficiency car engines of the future.

Tags: octaneshale oilshale refiningturbo enginesturbochargedcafe standardsFuel Efficiency
Categories: News

8 Years After BP Oil Spill, Sick Cleanup Workers Still Waiting for Day in Court

Mon, 04/23/2018 - 22:37
BP oil spill cleanup workers and supporters protesting outside federal court in Louisiana

On the eighth anniversary of the BP oil spill, Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honoré stood in front of the New Orleans Federal Court House and called “bullshit” on the court’s handling of claims made by those who participated in the cleanup efforts. 

Thousands of workers BP hired to clean up the spill that polluted the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 have claimed exposure to oil and the dispersant has made them sick and still have not had their day in court. “It’s a crying damn shame we’ve allowed this in America,” Honoré said.

Tags: deepwater horizonBP oil spillGreenARMYoil spill clean uppublic healthCorexitdispersants
Categories: News

Market Forces Are Driving a Clean Energy Revolution in the US

Sat, 04/21/2018 - 13:56
Offshore wind turbines at Block Island

By , Colorado State University

Transforming U.S. energy systems away from coal and toward clean renewable energy was once a vision touted mainly by environmentalists. Now it is shared by market purists.

Tags: renewable energyTrump Administration
Categories: News

With Oil by Rail Poised for Comeback, Will Lack of Safety Regulations Mean 'Bomb Trains' Return too?

Fri, 04/20/2018 - 17:08
Gogama oil derailment and fire

Investors love a good comeback story and right now oil by rail seems to be a story they're pushing to justify investment in rail companies, especially Canadian ones.

But with little change in safety practices or regulations since the 2014 oil-by-rail boom, is the industry setting itself up to once again earn the nickname that rail workers gave oil trains — that is, will “bomb trains” make a comeback?

Tags: Bomb Trainstar sands oiloil by railCanadian Pacific RailwayTrump Administration
Categories: News

Despite Disappointing Returns, Oil Driller Pushes Ahead with Fracking Near Rare Texas Wildlands

Thu, 04/19/2018 - 11:57
Balmorhea State Park with views of oil and gas well flares

If you ask the CEO of Apache Corp., his company made in 2016 the kind of once-in-a-lifetime find that every oil driller dreams of: a massive oil and gas field that no other company noticed, where thousands of wells could be drilled and fracked to produce massive amounts of fossil fuels — and, in theory, profits.

Tags: West TexasPermian Basinfrackinghydraulic fracturingApache Corp
Categories: News

The Secret of the Great American Fracking Bubble

Wed, 04/18/2018 - 17:28
Natural gas drilling well pad in Wyoming

In 2008, Aubrey McClendon was the highest paid Fortune 500 CEO in America, a title he earned taking home $112 million for running Chesapeake Energy. Later dubbed “The Shale King,” he was at the forefront of the oil and gas industry's next boom, made possible by advances in fracking, which broke open fossil fuels from shale formations around the U.S.

What was McClendon’s secret? Instead of running a company that aimed to sell oil and gas, he was essentially flipping real estate: acquiring leases to drill on land and then reselling them for five to 10 times more, something McClendon explained was a lot more profitable than “trying to produce gas.” But his story may serve as a cautionary tale for an industry that keeps making big promises on borrowed dimes — while its investors begin losing patience, a trend DeSmog will be investigating in an in-depth series over the coming weeks. 

Tags: frackingShale Bubblewall streetBakken shale oilPermian Basin ShaleChesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK)
Categories: News

For 15 Years, Energy Transfer Partners Pipelines Leaked an Average of Once Every 11 Days: Report

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 19:44
Bayou Bridge pipeline construction through Louisiana wetland

5,475 days, 527 pipeline spills: that's the math presented in a new report from environmental groups Greenpeace USA and the Waterkeeper Alliance examining pipelines involving Dakota Access builder Energy Transfer Partners (ETP). It's based on public data from 2002 to 2017.

Tags: greenpeaceWaterkeeper AllianceEnergy Transfer Partnersoil spillsoil and gas pipelinesDakota Access PipelineBayou Bridge pipeline
Categories: News

Landowners Question If Pipeline Companies Seizing Land to Export Oil and Gas Counts as ‘Public Good’

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 03:44
Hope Rosinski photographs Bayou Bridge pipeline construction on her land

Hope Rosinski kept watch over the construction of the Bayou Bridge pipeline as one of its segments was installed on her land in Arcadia Parish, Louisiana. While she had signed an agreement allowing Bayou Bridge Pipeline LLC, a subsidiary of Energy Transfer Partners, to use her property, she had little choice in the matter and she didn’t want the pipeline there. 

Like anyone along the route of proposed oil or gas pipelines, Rosinski was in a position where, had she not signed the agreement, her land would have been taken anyway by virtue of eminent domain — a right the government can assert to seize private property for public use. So she negotiated the best contract she could, which included a clause specifying that the company could not begin work until all its permits were in place. 

But with the crude oil export ban lifted and liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports on the rise, landowners like Rosinski are starting to question whether or not giving up their land to serve these private aims qualifies as “public good.”

Tags: Natural Gas ExportsBayou Bridge pipelineeminent domainoil and gas pipelinesLouisianaEnergy Transfer Partners
Categories: News

Koch Alum’s Dark Money Group, ‘Power the Future,’ Denies Its Own Lobbying Status

Tue, 04/17/2018 - 01:13

This is a guest post by ClimateDenierRoundup.

Now that Obama’s out of office, the War on Coal needs a new boogeyman, and Tom Steyer fits the bill. Last week saw the launch of a new website attacking Tom Steyer, reported the Free Beacon and Daily Caller.

Attempting to coin a new name for struggling coal communities, the site is called Steyerville.com. The claim is that Steyer’s recent climate change philanthropy is responsible for the decades-long economic decline of coal communities.

Tags: koch vs cleanKoch brothersCharles Koch Institutedaniel turnerpower the futuresteyerville
Categories: News

Trial Date Set for Groundbreaking Kids' Climate Lawsuit

Sun, 04/15/2018 - 07:29
Kids holding climate banners

By Lorraine Chow, Ecowatch. Reposted with permission from Ecowatch.

A trial date of Oct. 29 has been set for a landmark climate change lawsuit brought by a group of young Americans despite the Trump administration's efforts to halt the case.

Juliana v. United States was filed in 2015 on behalf of 21 plaintiffs who ranged between 8 to 19 years old at the time. They allege their constitutional and public trust rights are being violated by the government's creation of a national energy system that causes dangerous climate change.

Tags: Our Children's Trustclimate liabilityTrump Administration
Categories: News

Oil Spill Laps Shores During Chevron-Sponsored French Quarter Festival

Fri, 04/13/2018 - 18:55

On April 12, an oil spill in the Mississippi River brought noxious fumes to music lovers at the New Orleans French Quarter Festival. The U.S. Coast Guard estimates 4,200 gallons of diesel oil spilled when a cargo ship hit the Nashville Wharf. 

Tags: Chevron (NYSE: CVX)new orleansoil spill
Categories: News

Rick Perry and Bob Murray Renew Conservative Call to Subsidize Coal

Thu, 04/12/2018 - 01:58

Conservative rancor toward the free market in energy systems was on full display this week, as both Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and coal magnate Robert Murray made loud, unapologetic calls to subsidize coal-fired power plants.

“We don’t have a free market in the [electricity] industry, and I’m not sure you want one,” Perry said Monday at the BNEF Future of Energy Summit.

Tags: Robert MurrayBob MurrayAndrew WheelerRick PerryBNEFcoalFERCdoe
Categories: News

World May Hit 2 Degrees of Warming in 10-15 Years Thanks to Fracking, Says Cornell Scientist

Wed, 04/11/2018 - 19:57
Ingraffea

In 2011, a Cornell University research team first made the groundbreaking discovery that leaking methane from the shale gas fracking boom could make burning fracked gas worse for the climate than coal.

In a sobering lecture released this month, a member of that team, Dr. Anthony Ingraffea, Professor of Engineering Emeritus at Cornell University, outlined more precisely the role U.S. fracking is playing in changing the world's climate.

The most recent climate data suggests that the world is on track to cross the two degrees of warming threshold set in the Paris accord in just 10 to 15 years, says Ingraffea in a 13-minute lecture titled “Shale Gas: The Technological Gamble That Should Not Have Been Taken,” which was posted online on April 4.Tags: shale gasfrackingglobal warmingclimate changetwo degrees1.5 degreesAnthony Ingraffea

Categories: News

How Shell Greenwashed its Image as Internal Documents Warned of Fossil Fuels' Contribution to Climate Change

Wed, 04/11/2018 - 09:52
Shell clean air advert

Shell knew about the relationship between burning fossil fuels and climate change as early as the 1980s. So what did the company decide to do about it? Stop burning fossil fuels?

No. It changed its advertising strategy.

A tranche of documents uncovered last week by Jelmer Mommers of De Correspondent published on Climate Files, a project of the Climate Investigations Center, revealed that Shell knew about the danger its products posed to the climate decades ago. The company has continued to double-down on fossil fuel investment since the turn of the century despite this knowledge.

But in the wake of a bribery scandal in Nigeria that resulted in two dozen employees being fired, the company was concerned enough about its dirty image to work out a new PR strategy.

Tags: #ShellKnewRoyal Dutch Shell
Categories: News

Koch vs. California: These Groups Are Pushing Pruitt to Undo the State’s Right to Regulate Auto Emissions

Tue, 04/10/2018 - 20:17
Los Angeles traffic backed up

A coalition of conservative groups, many with close ties to the Koch brothers, are calling for Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt to strip California of its right to set stricter greenhouse gas limits for personal vehicles.

Not satisfied with Pruitt’s decision to rewrite the Obama-era emissions standards — which had been written cooperatively with the automakers, state of California, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and EPA — the American Consumer Institute (ACI) organized a letter to Pruitt calling “for the revocation of California’s waiver from the Clean Air Act, which allows the state to decouple from federal policy and impose strict emission standards on automobiles.”

When asked about this threat on the sidelines of the BNEF Future of Energy Summit, the chair of the California Air Resources Board, Mary Nichols, told Desmog, “I don't think they're going to do that.”

Tags: cafe standardsScott Pruittamerican consumer institutewilliam wehrumFreedomWorkscompetitive enterprise instituteAmericans for Tax Reform60 Plus Associationfrontiers of freedom
Categories: News

FERC Revolving Door Continues as Top Lawyer Leaves for Fossil Fuel Lobbying Firm

Mon, 04/09/2018 - 17:42
ExxonMobil Baton Rouge refinery

This is a guest post by  and originally appeared on Eyes on the Ties.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is the main regulatory agency that oversees the interstate transmission of natural gas, oil, and electricity. Made up of five commissioners and a staff of lawyers and other officials, FERC holds significant power over the approval and regulation of — among other things — proposed oil and gas pipelines that cross state lines or that will transmit fossil fuels from out of state.

FERC has also been a regular stopping point in the revolving door between the fossil fuel industry and the regulatory apparatus that overseas that industry. This trend continues, now, with the appointment of a top FERC attorney to McGuireWoods, a major lobbying firm.

Tags: federal energy regulatory commission (FERC)edison electric instituteColette Honorablefossil fuel lobbyKevin McIntyre
Categories: News

New Solar Capacity Exceeded All Other Fuel Sources Combined in 2017, Study Finds

Sun, 04/08/2018 - 17:53
solar pv panels in Hong Kong

By Olivia Rosane, EcoWatch. Reposted with permission from EcoWatch

In 2017, the world invested more in solar power than it did in any other energy technology and installed more new solar capacity than all other energy sources combined, including fossil fuels.

Those are the bright findings of a UN-backed report Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2018, published Thursday.

Tags: renewable energyChina energy policysolar energychina
Categories: News

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