Why Was The White House Involved in North Dakota Oil-by-Rail Regulations?

A seemingly innocuous email about two people getting coffee in August of 2014 helps shed light on the behind-the-scenes lobbying efforts to shape the oil-by-rail regulations that have given the oil industry a pass on the explosive nature of Bakken crude oil.

The emails, acquired by DeSmogBlog via a Freedom of Information Act request, led us to discover a troubling trail of influence from the Beltway to the Bakken. It's a sordid tale wherein public safety is needlessly compromised by the threat of “bomb trains” while the government ignores a simple fix to safeguard communities in favor of enabling runaway profits for the oil and rail industries.

Brother of Hillary Clinton's Top Campaign Aide Lobbied for Fracked Gas Export Terminal Co-Owned by Qatar

Anthony “Tony” Podesta began lobbying in late 2013 on behalf of a company co-owned by ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum aiming to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the global market. Tony is the brother of John Podesta, former top climate change adviser to President Barack Obama and current top campaign aide for Hillary Clinton's 2016 bid for president

In October 2012, Podesta Group began lobbying on behalf of the proposed ExxonMobil-Qatar Petroleum Golden Pass LNG facility in Sabine Pass, Texas, according to lobbying disclosure forms. The forms indicate that Tony Podesta himself, not just his staff, lobbied on behalf of the terminal beginning in quarter four of 2013.

How an ExxonMobil Seminar Convinced a Young Geologist to Fight for Action on Climate Change

This DeSmog UK epic history post introduces you to a young geologist who joined the fight against climate deniers in an effort to support the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) findings.

Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, hates to see the public misinformed on science. 

As an A-level student at Southend School for Boys in the mid-eighties, he read an article in the Guardian which had confused the hole in the ozone layer with global warming, attributing global warming to aerosols.

New Report Warns of West Coast Tar Sands Oil Invasion

The West Coast of the United States and Canada is facing an imminent tar sands oil invasion, according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

“The West Coast is about to fall victim to a tar sands invasion, unless our leaders choose to protect the health and safety of our communities and say no to Big Oil,” said Anthony Swift, deputy director of NRDC's Canada Project. “At a time when the nation is moving toward a clean energy future, there is no reason to welcome the dirtiest oil on the planet into our communities.”

While the West Coast is not currently the destination for much tar sands oil, the area’s heavy oil refining capacity and deepwater port access make it a likely destination for large amounts of Canadian tar sands oil in the future.

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) forecasts that tar sands supply will increase from 2.4 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2013 to 6.2 million bpd by 2030. To achieve those volumes, a significant portion of that oil would have to go to the West Coast by a combination of pipelines, rail and tanker.

Voters More Likely To Accept Climate Change Warnings When The Room is Warm – Behaviour Scientist

The way people vote can depend on much more than just the issues being debated scientists have found.

Several studies have shown that subtle psychological cues can be just as effective at influencing voter decisions as what political parties promise in speeches and manifestos.

Nick Chater, professor of behaviour science at Warwick Business School, recently revealed on BBC Radio 4 programme The Human Zoo, just how easily voters can be swayed by things as simple as a dead plant in the room, the weather outside or a politician’s appearance.

I spoke with Chater (pictured below) about how a voter’s understanding of climate change can be influenced and the implications this holds during an election.


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