Posts

Oil Industry

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

by Sammy Roth, The Los Angeles Times


Highlights

  • 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

Exxon’s plan for surging carbon emissions revealed in leaked documents

by Kevin Crowley and Akshat Rathi, Bloomberg


Highlights

  • Exxon Mobil is raising its yearly emissions to 17% by 2025, releasing an additional 21 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year according to the companies own assessment of its $210 billion investment strategy 
  • New investment and growth plans come after the company experienced losses during the pandemic and the collapse of oil demand
  • The largest U.S. oil producer has never made a commitment to lower oil and gas output, planned to become carbon neutral, nor have they ever publicly disclosed its forecasts for its own emissions
  • Exxon does not account for emissions from customers burning their fuel, meaning their new growth strategy would account for and additional 100 million tons of CO2

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.


Read More: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-10-05/exxon-carbon-emissions-and-climate-leaked-plans-reveal-rising-co2-output?sref=ABTRBDIh

California greenlights ‘Orwellian’ solar-powered fracking scheme


Highlights

  • California Governor Gavin Newsom approved two rounds drilling permits for Chevron this summer, furthering criticism from environmental groups
    • Since lifting the moratorium on fracking, Governor Newsom has approved 36 new fracking permits in Lost Hills to Aera Energy, a company he has close ties with 
    • Chevron was given permission to frack 12 wells before July 4th
  • Chevron plans to use solar panels to power their drilling operations in the Lost Hills Oil Field located in Kern County
  • The new permits will exasperate health issues within the small town of Lost Hills in the area due to pollution 
  • The approval of these permits is an example of environmental racism, as the town is comprised of 97% Latinx individuals and almost 30% of residents have incomes below the poverty line
  • Juan Flores of the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment questions the Governors campaign promises:

“[Newsom] kept talking about how we needed to stay away from corporations and him not wanting to receive money for his campaign from big corporations like Chevron, Aera and Shell. He said ‘I don’t want to serve my term as Governor paying back those favors.’ And now he’s completely acting the opposite.”

  • The amended version of AB 345 was voted down on Aug. 5 Senate hearing and all of those who voted against it received money from companies or labor unions who had opposed the bill

The Climate Center’s Climate-Safe California Platform advocates for a formal California State commitment by 2022 to 80% below 1990 levels of greenhouse gas emissions and net-negative emissions by 2030. This bold target requires accelerating the phase-out of fossil fuel development, production, and use.


Read More: https://therealnews.com/columns/california-greenlights-orwellian-solar-powered-fracking-scheme

SoCalGas trying to prevent regulators from learning more about its anti-climate political tactics

by Emily Atkin, Heated


Highlights

  • SoCalGas recently failed to stop building electrification efforts in the coastal city of San Luis Obispo by creating a group to advocate against it, threatening to hold a non-COVID 19 compliant rally if the law passes, and are suspected to have pushed a story saying building electrification was racially discriminatory
  • Over 120 city and county governments have been persuaded by SoCalGas to adopt “balanced energy solutions,” which discourage all-electric efforts in favor of natural gas
  • The Public Advocates Office of the California Public Utilities Commission company may be using customer money to fund their anti-electrification advocacy
  • SoCalGas refuses to comply with a watchdog subpoena and spent months fighting the regulator’s investigation
  • The company has also misused ratepayer money for anti-climate political activities by spending $28 million for “balanced energy” programs that were categorized as operations and maintenance, a category funded by ratepayers
  • A 2019 report from Brown University investigated ten large investor-owned utilities and found they were “historically central to the climate change countermovement,” meaning they often worked towards undermining climate action based on science for the past few decades

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://heated.world/p/some-real-shady-behavior

SoCal Gas Reaches $8.5 Million Settlement Over Aliso Canyon Gas Leak

SoCalGas ramps up use of Aliso Canyon, site of worst gas leak in U.S. history

by Sammy Roth, The Los Angeles Times


Highlights

One of Governor Gavin Newsom’s campaign promises was to wind down the usage of the Aliso Canyon gas storage field, located just outside Los Angeles. New reports show that the facility usage has increased during his governorship

  • Publicly available information analyzed by Food and Water Watch shows that SoCalGas, the owners of the facility, withdrew 20 billion cubic feet of gas from the site this winter
  • Aliso Canyon had the largest methane leak in U.S. history during 2015. Other pollutants in the leak include benzene and mercaptan, known to cause cancers.
  • Many environmental groups and residents near the field are calling for its closure due to the health impacts that many community members experience, including nausea, nose bleeds, and headaches
    • These complaints were large during the gas leak, but residents are feeling these events even as late as May 2020
  • Since the major gas leak, gas company officials say they have made many safety improvements including assessing oil wells every two years
  • The California Public Utilities Commission relaxed restrictions placed on the site due to concerns of high energy prices and supply shortages
  • Many believe SoCalGas still uses Aliso Canyon because the facility was worth $769 million at the end of 2019, and as long as it remains in use, SoCalGas customers will be on the hook to pay off the company’s investment, plus shareholder profits
  • Though clean energy advocates want to see the end of natural gas use within the state, SoCalGas wants to use more gas captured from dairy farms

Increased air pollution from fires and 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.


Read more: https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2020-06-09/socalgas-ramps-up-use-of-aliso-canyon-site-of-worst-gas-leak

Oil Industry

California’s oil wells could cost $9 billion to plug

by Mark Olalde, Desert Sun, January 24, 2020


Highlights

Decommissioning and cleaning up oil and gas wells throughout the state may cost billions, but only $110 million is saved for this process.

  • Many wells become abandoned as oil and gas prices take sharp downturns and environmental policies result in the decrease of the use of wells over time
  • The California Council on Science and Technology estimates that clean up efforts will cost the state $85,000 per well 
  • There are an estimated 3 million deserted wells throughout the US, tens of thousands of which are in California

The Climate Center has proposed a price on carbon to catalyze the shift from fossil fuels to cleaner more climate-friendly energy sources. Clean energy advocates have long argued that the true costs of using fossil fuels like oil and natural gas are not accurate because they are externalized. The public pays these costs in the end through taxes and the burden to public health.


Read more: https://www.desertsun.com/story/news/environment/2020/01/24/california-oil-and-gas-wells-could-cost-9-billion-plug-clean/

Aerial view of fracking wells.

IEEFA update: Bankruptcies multiply for fracking sector

by Kathy Hipple, IEEFA, January 28, 2020


Highlights

Forty-two companies within the United States that have fracking based portfolios filed for bankruptcy in 2019:

  • In total, the aggregate debt of these companies was $26 billion
  • The fracking sector struggled due to overproduction, gas and oil prices, and increasing debt throughout the past 5 years
  • Moody’s Credit Rating assesses that the fracking industry never recovered from oil price slumps in 2015-2016

With the cost of renewables in steep decline, The Climate Center has laid out a roadmap that leaves natural gas behind in favor of 100% renewables with a vast network of community microgrids for resilience. See our new policy roadmap for state legislators.


Read more: https://ieefa.org/ieefa-update-bankruptcies-multiply-for-fracking-sector/

Repsol is first oil major to pledge zero emissions by 2050

by James Herron, Bloomberg

Repsol SA embarked on the most ambitious attempt yet by an oil major to align itself with the Paris climate goals, saying it will eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions from its own operations and its customers by 2050.

The Spanish giant’s exploration and production unit will focus on value instead of output growth, according to a statement from the company on Monday. It also revised its long-term view of the value of oil and gas assets in a decarbonizing world, resulting in a 4.8 billion-euro ($5.3 billion) accounting charge.

Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-12-02/repsol-writes-down-oil-assets-as-it-targets-zero-emissions