The Oil Market Tanks Due To Bargain Basement Prices — Bad News or Is There a Silver Lining?

The Oil Market Tanks Due To Bargain Basement Prices — Bad News or Is There a Silver Lining?

Yesterday’s dramatic fall in oil and gas prices, according to the President is good for consumers, and it is true that gas prices will immediately come down slightly at the pump — but the secondary effects could be far more negative than positive on the U.S. economy.  Why?  The U.S. is now a net exporter of oil and since the domestic oil production industry has grown so large, the investment bank Morgan Stanley predicts that “the pain of lower oil prices is likely to outstrip whatever positive boost cheaper gas prices might provide to U.S. consumers” particularly when compounded with coronavirus fears depressing the economy more generally.

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Trump Administration Overrules Engineers on Drilling Safety In Rule Rollbacks

Trump Administration Overrules Engineers on Drilling Safety In Rule Rollbacks

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that at the direction of the Trump Administration it purged from the administrative record the written objections of its own engineers to the loosening of certain safety rules and procedures governing offshore drilling equipment.   The Journal found that internal deliberations with experts on the staff in which the experts expressed their concern about the safety of the looser rules are not reflected in the final decision memos issued by agency political appointees with close ties to the oil and gas industry.

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JP Morgan To Stop Funding Arctic Projects, Warns Its Investors About Climate “Catastrophe”

JP Morgan To Stop Funding Arctic Projects, Warns Its Investors About Climate “Catastrophe”

JP Morgan Chase, the largest funder of oil and gas projects in the Arctic, announced on Monday that it will no longer fund those projects and it will reduce its investment in coal-fired power projects, but it will continue to invest in oil and gas projects in the rest of the U.S.

Why This Matters:  The commitment by JP Morgan to stay out of the Arctic shows that pressure from the public is working — forcing the bank to reconsider its fossil fuel loans and investments in a part of the planet which is changing more rapidly than most areas.

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Trump Administration Oil and Gas Leases Will Result In Billions of Metric Tons of CO2 Pollution

Trump Administration Oil and Gas Leases Will Result In Billions of Metric Tons of CO2 Pollution

A new analysis released last week by The Wilderness Society found that the extensive new oil and gas leases on federal lands could result in “lifecycle emissions from extraction and end-use ranging between 1 billion and 5.95 billion metric tons (MT) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).”  That equates to more than half of the annual […]

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China Building To Dominate 21st Century’s Renewable Energy Sector And Fight Climate Change

China Building To Dominate 21st Century’s Renewable Energy Sector And Fight Climate Change

The U.S., Russia and Saudi Arabia may have dominated the 20th-century energy market, but according to an in-depth article in yesterday’s Houston Chronicle, China is now determined to dominate the 21st-century market in which energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions have become paramount for nations contending with climate change.

Why This Matters:  The United States, thanks to President Trump and his desire to prop up the dying coal, gas, and oil industries, is falling behind in this competition for the future energy market.

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Trump Administration Clips the Wings of Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Gutting Bird Protections

Trump Administration Clips the Wings of Migratory Bird Treaty Act, Gutting Bird Protections

The Fish and Wildlife Service last week proposed another major rollback of an environmental rule and put millions of birds in danger — this one protecting migratory birds under an international treaty that has been in effect for a century. 

Why This Matters:  Prosecutions of this treaty are hardly a huge threat, but the decision to waive all prosecutions will have broad implications and impact behavior of those who should be taking care that their actions do not cause more harm to birds than the myriad of threats such as plastic pollution and climate change.

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