US Oil Giants Chevron and Shell Discussed Merger, As S&P Warns of Industry Downgrades

US Oil Giants Chevron and Shell Discussed Merger, As S&P Warns of Industry Downgrades

The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday (paywall) that Chevron and ExxonMobil, the two “descendants” of Standard Oil, held preliminary merger talks early in 2020.  Apparently, the discussions did not continue past their initial phase, but they were serious enough that some of the possible terms were put in writing.

Why This Matters:  The handwriting is on the wall, and it is not hard to read.

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NY Bill Would Shift Recycling Burden to Packaging Producers

NY Bill Would Shift Recycling Burden to Packaging Producers

 A new bill introduced in New York’s state legislature would make manufacturers responsible for the entire life of their product. They would be required to pick up the tab for recycling costs, which in turn would incentivize more reusable packaging in order to keep costs down. This concept, called extended producer responsibility, has been introduced in other U.S. state legislatures and is already being applied in parts of Europe and Canada.

Why this Matters: If corporations were taking responsibility for their pollution that would be a big deal.

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Pipeline Construction in Memphis Raises Environmental Justice Issues click button

Pipeline Construction in Memphis Raises Environmental Justice Issues

Pipelines often raise environmental justice issues – a problem the incoming Biden administration will need to wrestle with given the President’s campaign promises.  The nonprofit newsroom MLK50 recently reported on the construction of a pipeline in Memphis, in which the company offered resident Joseph Owens only $3,000 to buy an easement on his one acre of land.

Why this Matters: Eminent domain is meant to be a tool of last resort the government uses to ensure that infrastructure like roads and power lines can be built without one landowner stopping construction that benefits the community

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Interview with Jason Bordoff, Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University click button

Interview with Jason Bordoff, Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University

This week, we sat down with Jason Bordoff, who served on the National Security Council staff in the Obama Administration and then founded the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University.

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Supreme Court Could Determine the Future of Climate Lawsuits

Supreme Court Could Determine the Future of Climate Lawsuits

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on this issue in BP Plc v. Mayor & City Council of Baltimore, which could determine whether or not oil companies are held accountable for climate change damages to cities and states.

Why This Matters: If SCOTUS rules in favor of BP, future climate litigation will likely be fought in federal courts, which experts say are “less responsive to expansive legal theories,”  and thus less likely to rule in favor of these innovative new climate cases based on state law. Whoever wins this case will have a leg up in future climate litigation.  

 

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Even Big Oil Is Re-evaluating Political Donations

Even Big Oil Is Re-evaluating Political Donations

Following the armed insurrection at the United States Capitol building on January 6, several major oil companies have announced that they will be suspending their political giving and reviewing their future giving criteria.

Why This Matters: Fossil fuel money is shunned by most Democrats. But this could mark the end of a long love affair between the fossil fuel industry and the GOP.

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