Oil Industry

The fossil fuel industry wants you to believe it’s good for people of color

by Sammy Roth, The Los Angeles Times


  • Fossil fuel companies claim to be working in favor of communities of color, including indigenous and tribal groups, by pushing their natural gas agenda
  • Gas industry groups and organizations that accept fossil fuel money promote the idea that a transition away from natural gas will disproportionately affect communities of color, claiming that electrification is expensive
  • Natural gas is notably increasing emissions and will do little for the climate
  • However, many of these same communities disproportionately experience pollution due to the power plants and fossil fuel extraction in these neighborhoods and on indigenous land
  • Fossil fuel companies and groups, like SoCalGas, have worked to bring diverse voices to back their pro-gas agendas through funding politicians and community organizations
  • Western States and Tribal Nations, an advocacy group that says it was created in part to “promote tribal self-determination,” consists of only one tribal member and are financially backed by fossil fuel companies that are promoting new gas projects on tribal territories

Scientists are increasingly warning that to avoid catastrophic impacts from climate change, the world’s governments must implement massive reductions of warming emissions and begin a drawdown of greenhouse gases (GHG) from the atmosphere over the decade ahead.  For a safe and healthy future for all, endorse the Climate-Safe California Platform to implement scalable solutions that can reverse the climate crisis.

Read More: https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-11-23/clean-energy-fossil-fuels-racial-justice

Storebrand dumps oil and mining stocks on climate change lobbying

Chris Flood and Attracta Mooney, Financial Times


  • Multibillion-dollar Nordic asset manager, Storebrand, has dropped ExxonMobile, Chevron, Southern Company, BASF, and Rio Tinto from its portfolio after these companies lobbyed against stricter environmental standards
  • Investors of oil companies and other industries that deal with fossil fuels are pushing these companies to lobby against climate-related standards
  • Jan Erik Saugestad, chief executive of Storebrand says the company will pressure others reliant on fossil fuels to change their behaviors (quote from Financial Times):

“BP, Shell, Equinor and other oil and gas producers cannot rest easy and continue with business as usual. We need to accelerate away from oil and gas. Renewable energy sources, like solar and wind power, are readily available alternatives…”

  • Storebrand has sold holdings worth about $17.9bn and divested from 22 more companies that have been slow to stop using coal in its operations

Fossil fuel divestment and the transition to 100% clean energy is critical to achieving The Climate Center’s goals under the Climate-Safe California Platform.

Read More: https://www.ft.com/content/00af52b7-381c-4a5d-91f1-3b3d4ce04256

Grim day for pipelines shows they’re almost impossible to build

by Rachel Adams-Heard and Ellen M. Gilmer, Bloomberg


  • Giant pipeline projects such as the Datoka Access Pipeline and the Atlantic Pipeline are being shut down as the fight against fossil fuel infrastructure grows
  • Energy companies Dominion Energy Inc. and Duke Energy Corp. canceled the Atlantic Coast gas pipeline after years of delays and major costs increase from $5 billion to $8 billion
  • Dominion sold nearly all of its gas pipelines and storage business to Berkshire Hathaway and is pursuing net-zero carbon emissions by 2050
  • The closure of the long-contested Dakota Access pipeline will take place by early August, making it the first in-service line to be shut down for environmental concerns
  • Environmentalists have started focusing on blocking pipeline permits instead of oil wells and are seeing success
  • Other large scale pipeline projects are facing cancelation as more environmentalists help block the permits and construction 

Fossil fuel divestment and the transition to 100% clean energy is critical to achieving The Climate Center’s goals under the Climate-Safe California Platform.

Read More: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-07-06/demise-of-gas-project-shows-u-s-pipelines-becoming-unbuildable

Vatican calls on Catholics to divest from fossil fuels

by Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill


  • The Vatican has released “Journeying Towards Care For Our Common Home,” a  225-page encyclical calling on all church bishops to divest from fossil fuels in efforts to slow the climate crisis
  • The document also calls on Catholics to drop support for companies that support abortion and armaments
  • Pope Francis has also recently called on countries to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement that helps reduce emissions globally 
  • The Pope also told oil executives that the time to act on protecting the environment is now: 

“We do not have the luxury of waiting for others to step forward or of prioritizing short-term economic benefits. The climate crisis requires our decisive action, here and now” 

Fossil fuel divestment and the transition to 100% clean energy is critical to ending the climate crisis. To read more stories on divestment efforts, visit our Divestment news page.

Read More: https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/503542-vatican-calls-on-catholics-to-divest-from-fossil-fuels

by Klima- og miljødepartementet found on https://www.flickr.com/photos/miljoverndepartementet/6283118360

Huge recent economic losses from climate impacts and a bipartisan 50-step plan for regulators

by Rachel Koning Beals, Market Watch


A new report from Ceres examines the wide-ranging and compounding impacts of the climate crisis on U.S. financial markets.

  • Due to climate change, the United States has spent $1.7 trillion on over 265 extreme weather events since 1980 and has seen economic losses of more than $500 billion from 2015-2019
  • When planning the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic the US must include climate-change responses from financial markets and their regulators
  • Climate change will take a 5%-20% loss of GDP if left unmitigated
  • U.S. financial regulators are far behind  China, Europe, the U.K., South America, and Canada in responding to climate change as a systemic risk and taking steps to protect their markets
  • Advocates behind the report are emphasizing a market-driven regulatory restructure to get the US on par with other countries

Using new progressive financing mechanisms we can produce an additional $20+ billion per year specifically for climate action.

Read More: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/warning-of-green-swan-risks-climate-group-ceres-and-bipartisan-supporters-lay-out-50-step-plan-for-markets-and-regulators-2020-06-01

How should California wind down its fossil fuel industry?

by Justin Gerdes, Greentech Media


Though California is a leader in clean energy within the US, it remains the seventh-largest oil-producing state and needs to take action to eliminate the fossil fuel industry.

  • California leads the nation in solar rooftops and electric vehicles and also ranks fifth in installed wind capacity
  • For full fossil fuel phase-out within the state, California needs to push aggressive demand-reductions or else oil from outside of the state will fill the gaps.
    • Measures include reaching the goal of 5 million electric vehicles on the road to lessen drivers’ dependency on gas

“If we don’t stop using it, then that supply is going to get here, even if it’s not produced in-state,” says Elkind, director of Berkeley Law’s climate program

  • The oil and gas industry is one of the Golden State’s most powerful special interest groups, which gives lawmakers pause when it comes to halting oil production
    • The Western States Petroleum Association spent close to $9 million lobbying state policymakers in 2019
  • Lack of federal help is also slowing down the fossil fuel phase-out process
  •  Governor Gavin Newsom has taken initial steps to increase oversight of the oil and gas industry
    • He introduced new leadership after firing the state’s top oil and gas regulator for issuing too many fracking permits
    • However, he has recently approved new drilling sites 
  • The oil industry could be a part of the phase-out process within the state as older workers retire, while younger generations are not quick to fill those employment gaps
    • The industry could also facilitate the introduction of large-scale sequestration efforts

The transition to 100% clean energy is a major step towards achieving The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California Platform.

Read More: https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/how-should-california-wind-down-its-fossil-fuel-industry

IMF warns investors: You’re not ready for climate change

by Laura Millan Lombrana and Eric Martin, Bloomberg Green


  • A new report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says investors worldwide are underestimating the financial risks from climate change, and companies need to start disclosing their exposure
  • Asset prices currently fail to reflect the risk of extreme weather events that may cost $1 trillion annually starting in 2050
  • The cost of climate disasters such as wildfires, flooding, and storms has also spiked, rising above $120 billion annually from $22 billion in the 1980s
  • Sustainable Investing has spiked and these funds hold a large percentage of equity shares globally
  • Equity investors struggle with focusing on long-term challenges, such as climate change, as they traditionally analyze short term effects 

Fossil fuel divestment and the transition to 100% clean energy is a major step towards achieving the Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California Platform.

Read More: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-05-29/imf-warns-stock-investors-to-pay-more-attention-to-climate-risks?sref=ABTRBDIh

Report: Five principles for equitably managing a phase-out of extraction

by Greg Muttitt, Oil Change International


A new study in the journal Climate Policy has laid out steps to a sustainable and just energy transition away from fossil fuel extraction.

  • Wealthy countries such as Canada, the United States, and Norway are using funds to bail out their oil industries while less fortunate countries must make difficult financial decisions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic 
    • This shows the disparities of the worlds unsustainable and unjust energy transition
    • These wealthier countries must exceed global targets for emissions reductions
    • Poor countries will face a more difficult transition if their economy is based on fossil fuel extraction
  • The five principles of an early fossil fuel phase-out:
    1. Phase down global extraction at a pace consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C.
      • Globally fossil fuels must be largely phased out by 2050
    2.  Enable a Just Transition for workers and communities.
      •  Training fossil fuel industry workers to transition into clean energy jobs and protecting communities who rely on fossil fuel industry income
    3. Curb extraction consistent with environmental justice.
      • Ending fossil fuel extraction should be prioritized in frontline communities experiencing inequitable amounts of pollution
    4. Reduce extraction fastest where the social costs of a transition are the least
      • Wealthier countries should phase out extraction fastest because they have the funds to transition faster than poorer countries 
      • Graphic from PriceOfOil.org

    5. Share transition costs fairly, according to the ability to bear those costs.

Fossil fuel divestment and the transition to 100% clean energy is critical to achieving The Climate Center’s goals under the Climate-Safe California Platform.

Read more: http://priceofoil.org/2020/06/01/countries-need-to-phase-out-fossil-fuels-heres-how-to-do-it-fairly/

Arctic Drilling

Wall street is bending to pressure to halt Arctic-oil loans

By Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Bloomberg Green


Environmental activists are fighting oil companies to keep drilling out of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge by putting divestment pressure on banks.

  • Tribal representatives and other environmental activists pressed banking executives about their policies during shareholder meetings and in conversations with sustainability directors
  • Morgan Stanley has announced that they will not be financing arctic oil and gas development, becoming the fifth major U.S. bank to announce it will no longer support drilling in the arctic
  • Many large banks have made the same promise, with Bank of America being a major holdout 
  • Though the Interior Department is preparing to sell drilling rights along the arctic coast, the lack of infrastructure makes it hard to locate crude oil, making potential investors have second thoughts
  • Potential drilling could have dire impacts on native wildlife
  • Alison Kirsch, the lead researcher in the Rainforest Action Network’s Climate and Energy Program, says that by cutting off funding, these drilling projects can’t continue:

“A fossil fuel project needs three things to go ahead…It needs government approval– or a permit– but it also needs capital and it also needs insurance. And those last two pieces mostly happen in the private sector. So if you can intervene there, you can stop projects.”

  • Promises by these banks to divest in individual projects does not prohibit the banks from lending to these companies altogether

Fossil fuel divestment and the transition to 100% clean energy is a major step towards achieving The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California Platform.

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-24/wall-street-is-bending-to-pressure-to-halt-arctic-drilling-loans


Earth Day 2030: California celebrates reaching net-negative emissions

Let’s imagine it is April 2030. In the early 2020s, as the coronavirus pandemic swept the world, we in California finally addressed the climate crisis at the speed and scale science demanded.

Nation & World Collaborating for Speed & Scale Climate Action

Today, Earth Day 2030, we celebrate the deep systemic changes we have collectively made for a healthy, equitable, and climate-safe future. We reflect back on an exceptional ten years of climate action.

The decade began with a nightmare, COVID-19, which woke us up to the deadly consequences of ignoring science. We quickly realized that we must heed the warning of climate experts and take immediate, bold action to avert climate catastrophe.

It took an exponentially growing body of diverse advocates (like you!) putting pressure on policymakers to create bold change in line with the science. COVID-19 showed us how quickly and dramatically we could change government policies, unleash market forces, and create opportunities for everyone to participate in a climate-safe economy.

Today we look back on our many achievements, including:

  • California accelerated the phase-out of fossil fuel development, production, and use. 

Legislation enacted in the early 2020s is showing enormous benefits for health, the environment and the economy as the state halted all new investments in fossil fuel infrastructure and began rapidly phasing-out fossil fuel-powered cars, trucks, buses, trains, and equipment.

We dramatically increased investments in public transportation, housing near jobs, and innovative programs that reduced toxic air pollution, especially for frontline communities.

The state also enacted zero-emissions building codes and began phasing out methane gas. We are grateful to the workers whose livelihoods were dependent on fossil fuel industries for making this rapid transition to a 100% GHG-free, clean energy economy possible.

Ranchers, farmers, and public resource managers were incentivized to implement climate-friendly habitat and soil protection and restoration programs on millions of acres from the Sierras to the sea.

Farmers led the way in reducing emissions while supporting food and water security with climate-friendly, regenerative production.

  • Unavoidable damage from extreme climate events meant that California became heavily invested in community resilience and protecting the most vulnerable, lower-income communities.

Legislation enacted in the early 2020s funded and supported California’s counties and cities to develop and implement clean, local, decentralized, resilient energy and storage, building independent capacity to address climate and other emergencies.

Major new state programs funded and supported local climate emergency response and preparedness measures, including early warning systems, resilience centers, and public education programs that are now benefitting all Californians.

  • California created new financing mechanisms, from frequent flyer fees and carbon taxes to private sector investments, that generated the billions of dollars needed annually for speed and scale climate solutions.

Millions of people took action to bring about the changes in policy that accelerated our transition.

On this Earth Day 2030, we commit to continuing our efforts to secure a healthy, vibrant, and equitable future for all.

We can achieve this vision if we act today based on the latest science. Support The Climate Center and help make Climate-Safe California a reality. Make every day Earth Day!