Exxon touts carbon capture as a climate fix, but uses it to maximize profit and keep oil flowing

by Kevin Crowley and Akshat Rathi, Bloomberg


  • Carbon captured by Exxon Mobil’s Shute Creek Treating Facility is being sold to other companies that are injecting the carbon into depleted oil fields to help produce more oil
  • Exxon may have claimed hundreds of millions of dollars in tax credits due to the tax credit that encouraged companies to capture and store carbon back in 2008
    • The company may have collected $1 billion awarded under the credit over the past decade with nearly $900 million of that amount failing to comply with EPA requirements
  • Exxon is lobbying to eliminate the rule that requires companies to submit carbon monitoring plans to the Environmental Protection Agency in order to claim the carbon credits 
  • Some environmental advocates believe fossil fuel companies are exploiting carbon capture technology to maximize their profits as the carbon they capture can be utilized to pump more oil from the ground in a process referred to as enhanced oil recovery
    • Enhanced oil recovery involves injecting CO2 and water into an oil well which makes the oil easier to move and pump from underground
  • The carbon capture process helps fossil fuels companies retain enough CO2 to keep using the enhanced oil recovery method, which can potentially keep them in business longer
  • The International Energy Agency said recently that carbon capture capacity must soar to 840 million metric tons by 2030, up from about 40 million today in order to have benefits for the environment

Increased air pollution from fossil fuel emissions makes all of us more vulnerable to the current COVID-19 pandemic. For a safe and healthy future for all, endorse the Climate-Safe California Platform to implement scalable solutions that can reverse the climate crisis.

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What would it take to get more farmers fighting climate change?

by Tom Philpott, Grist


Maine Democrat Chellie Pingree introduced the Agriculture Resilience Act which aims to maximize carbon sequestration on farm and grazing lands.

  • The act aims to establish a national goal of net-zero greenhouse emissions from agriculture by no later than 2040, add more funding to food and agriculture research, maximize carbon capture on grazing lands, and reduce food waste by 75%
  • The Resilience Act also aims to maintain year-round cover on at least 75% of cropland in order to prevent erosion, create buffers during storms, and encourage more soil sequestration
  • The act will make it a requirement for farms to present a soil health plan to the U.S. Department of Agriculture in order to qualify for crop insurance subsidies
  • Though the bill will probably fail in a divided congress, it will set the stage for including agriculture in climate resiliency efforts in 2021

The Climate Center advocates for policies to fund and support carbon sequestration through healthy soils to achieve greenhouse gas emissions reductions at the speed and scale required by the science.

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