ExxonMobil Makes New Carbon Reduction Commitment That Experts Call “Underwhelming”

ExxonMobil Makes New Carbon Reduction Commitment That Experts Call “Underwhelming”

With investors who hold hundreds of millions in ExxonMobil stock pressuring it to improve its performance on climate change and invest more in clean energy, the Company announced a new five-year plan today. According to Axios, experts said it’s not clear how much actual emissions might fall under the new plan.

Why This Matters:  Weak sauce from a weak company.  The ExxonMobil plan consists of only a few half measures — it falls far short of the industry standard set by ConocoPhillips, Occidental Petroleum, BP, and Shell, which have all pledged to have “net zero” emissions in the 2050 time frame. 

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US Exported Natural Gas Could Worsen Climate Change

US Exported Natural Gas Could Worsen Climate Change

While natural gas has been touted as a solution to the world’s fossil fuel problem, new analysis by NRDC shows that the U.S’ exporting of liquified natural gas (LNG) will only worsen global warming. When looking at the full life cycle emissions of different energy sources, U.S. LNG led to higher emissions than regional sources of LNG, pipeline gas, solar or wind power, and led only to slightly lower emissions than the use of coal. 

Why this Matters:  It seems increasingly clear that new natural gas infrastructure is controversial. Cities are taking action to ban natural gas from new buildings, and chefs are advertising the utility of electric stoves, but more must be done.

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62 Oil and Gas Companies Pledge to Reduce Methane, U.S. Companies Turn the Other Way

62 Oil and Gas Companies Pledge to Reduce Methane, U.S. Companies Turn the Other Way

This week, following a U.N. report showing that methane levels in the atmosphere are at an all-time high, more than 60 oil and gas companies joined a new voluntary agreement to report and reduce their emissions. The companies making the pledge represent 30% of global oil and gas operations, but none of them were American.

Why This Matters: According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the global oil and gas industry produced 82 gigatons of methane in 2019 alone.

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Climate TRACE Project Aims to Identify Carbon Emissions Everywhere In Real Time

Climate TRACE Project Aims to Identify Carbon Emissions Everywhere In Real Time

To comply with the Paris Climate Agreement it is crucial to actually track the emissions of greenhouse gases from places like power plants and factories. One newly announced project, Climate TRACE (Tracking Real-Time Atmospheric Carbon Emissions) Coalition, a coalition of nonprofits and tech companies backed by Al Gore, is working to identify emissions from every single specific source, Adele Peters reported in Fast Company yesterday.

Why This Matters: Currently, emissions data is often self-reported, and, according to Fast Company, it “can sometimes take years for the data to be gathered.”

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Energy Down: Clean Energy Job Losses Total 106,000 and Texas Weighs Oil Production Cuts

Energy Down: Clean Energy Job Losses Total 106,000 and Texas Weighs Oil Production Cuts

More signs emerged of deep trouble for the energy sector.  Clean energy companies shed 106,000 jobs in March according to an industry analysis of figures from the Labor Department’s tally of unemployment claims.  And on Tuesday, the Texas agency that regulates the oil and gas industry held a public hearing to consider whether the industry should cut production to keep oil prices from falling further, a drastic step aimed at preventing a slew of bankruptcies and permanent job losses.

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The Impact of the Oil Price War On Methane Flaring Is Uncertain

The Impact of the Oil Price War On Methane Flaring Is Uncertain

With oil prices plummeting to 18-year lows, oil and gas companies are scaling back by cutting workers, halting infrastructure investments, and drastically reducing oil and gas production. But will the natural gas industry finally get their outrageous methane leaks under control?

Why This Matters:  Methane is the most potent greenhouse gas in terms of its short term impact.  The Trump Administration made flaring methane even easier.

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