#oil and gas
Exxon Climate Accounting Fraud Trial Begins Today in NYC

Exxon Climate Accounting Fraud Trial Begins Today in NYC

The Attorney General (AG) of New York state sued Exxon Mobil last fall after a four-year investigation into the question of whether the company misled investors on the costs to the company of future regulation of the industry that would be needed to curb greenhouse gas emissions, and that those misrepresentations caused investors to pay more for the stock than they should have — to the tune of  “between $476 million and $1.6 billion.”

Why This Matters:  Investor disclosure laws are strict — and the government alleges that the decisions regarding what they did not disclose went all the way up to Exxon’s CEO at the time, Rex Tillerson, who is expected to testify.  If NY wins, there will be a slew of additional lawsuits to join the other similar ones pending in New Jersey and Texas If the company wins, it will insulate the company and the industry from further climate change legal challenges.

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Nearly 250,000 Students At Risk Due to Proximity To Active Oil and Gas Wells

Nearly 250,000 Students At Risk Due to Proximity To Active Oil and Gas Wells

A Newsy analysis released last week found that more than 600 U.S. schools are located within 500 feet of an active oil or gas well, and more than 1.4 million people across the U.S. live within the 500-foot danger zone. 

Why This Matters:  Kids should not have to go to school near active oil and gas wells with toxic air emissions that put them at higher risk for cancer and respiratory problems.  Research from the Colorado School of Public Health has found that people living within 500 feet of an oil or gas facility have a cancer risk that is 8 times higher than the EPA’s accepted threshold.

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Corn Producers Get A Boost From Trump Proposal to Increase Ethanol Production

Corn Producers Get A Boost From Trump Proposal to Increase Ethanol Production

After starting a trade war with China that hurt midwestern farmers, and giving “small” refineries a free pass on requirements to produce ethanol, the Trump Administration last Friday announced new rules to increase the mandates for ethanol in order to increase the sale of the biofuel beyond the current requirement of 15 billion gallons annually.

Why This Matters:  With so many special interests pressuring the President, it is hard to please everyone. The American Petroleum Institute (API), the lobby for the oil industry, and American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, which represents oil refineries, announced that they would challenge the policy.

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Secretary Perry and Rudy Giuliani Entangled In Ukraine Gas Company Scheme

Secretary Perry and Rudy Giuliani Entangled In Ukraine Gas Company Scheme

The Associated Press reported yesterday that Rudy Guiliani was pushing on behalf of clients to get a friendlier management team of U.S. businessmen installed at the top of the ‘”massive” Ukrainian state-owned gas company, Naftogaz.  Coincidentally, Energy Secretary Rick Perry was also lobbying the company to change its top management, which is why he asked President Trump to make the infamous call with President Zelensky.

Why This Matters:  The Trump administration’s corrupt relationship with the oil and gas industry is laid bare by this scandal — it explains why it has been so hard to take meaningful steps to move away from fossil fuels and address the climate crisis. 

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Trump Administration Takes Aim at the Bureau of Land Management

Trump Administration Takes Aim at the Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is a small federal agency but it manages 250 million acres of land around the country, much of it in the West, and recently the Trump Administration announced that it wants to move most of its employees from Washington, D.C. to Colorado and other Western states as part of […]

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Secretary Pompeo’s Arctic Council Climate Denial

At a meeting of Foreign Ministers from all the Arctic Nations held Monday and Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to sign a previously negotiated declaration of support by the nations for their joint strategy and cooperation plan in this key region because it involved working to address climate change impacts in the region.  […]

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Earth Week Exclusive Interview with Carol Browner, Conservation Champion

Earth Week Exclusive Interview with Carol Browner, Conservation Champion

Carol Browner has had a long career in public service on environmental conservation.  She was the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from 1993-2001 and served as President Obama’s Director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy, and also served as a member of the Gulf Oil Spill Commission. ODP:  The […]

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Norway to End Arctic Oil and Gas Drilling

Norway to End Arctic Oil and Gas Drilling

In a decision that caught oil and gas industry executives by surprise, the largest governing party in Norway announced it is withdrawing its support for fossil fuel exploration in the Arctic ocean near the sensitive Lofoten Islands, thereby effectively putting them off limits for development. According to Bloomberg, State-controlled Equinor ASA, the biggest Norwegian oil producer, have said that gaining access to Lofoten is key if the country wants to maintain fuel production — experts had estimated that there are 1 billion to 3 billion barrels of oil in the waters off the Lofoten archipelago.  

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Pipelines Remain a Flashpoint

Pipelines Remain a Flashpoint

The President will travel to Texas tomorrow to sign a controversial executive order regarding streamlining the permitting process for oil and gas pipeline projects.  This comes just more than a week after the President signed another controversial executive order to revive the Keystone XL pipeline’s construction, which had been halted by a Montana federal judge’s order.

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President Trump Issues XL Pipeline End Run

President Trump Issues XL Pipeline End Run

Last Friday, with no fanfare or boasting, the President signed a new Executive Order approving the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, which had been held up in extended litigation over whether environmental reviews of the project were sufficient.  The new order replaced a previous permit and executive order from early 2017 reversing the Obama Administration and green-lighting the controversial project.  

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Texas chemical explosion kills worker, 3rd plant explosion in 3 weeks

Texas chemical explosion kills worker, 3rd plant explosion in 3 weeks

Yesterday in Crosby, Texas (about 25 miles northeast of Houston) a tank holding a flammable chemical caught fire at a KMCO chemical plant, killing one worker, critically injuring two others and sending panicked employees fleeing over a fence to safety. This was the third explosion in the petrochemical industry in the past 3 weeks (the […]

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Judge Tosses Trump Plan To Drill Offshore In Alaska

Judge Tosses Trump Plan To Drill Offshore In Alaska

A federal judge in Alaska dealt a major blow late Friday to the Trump Administration’s plan to allow drilling for oil and gas in the ocean waters off the North Slope of Alaska and in deep-sea canyons in the Atlantic Ocean.  President Obama used his statutory authority under the law governing ocean oil and gas drilling to “withdraw” these areas from ANY subsequent plan to lease them out, but three months after taking office, President Trump “revoked” the Obama decision. 

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