Shell President Confirms the Consensus

Tue, 2006-11-28 09:20Richard Littlemore
Richard Littlemore's picture

Shell President Confirms the Consensus

“When 90-plus percent of the world's leading figures believe that greenhouse gases have impacted the climate of the Earth, who is Shell to say 'Let's debate the science.' “

John Hofmeister , President of Shell Oil Co.


This is HUGE, now we just need Exxon and a couple others and we can drop this absolutely ridiculous battles with these junk scientists and climate deniers!!!!! They can all just crawl further into their holes never to be seen again.
In a BBC-interview with the (or some) executive of Exxon Britain this man claimed that Exxon fully agreed with ideas concerning the anthropogenic cause of global warming, but that Exxon couldn’t be responsible for the opinions of ‘think tanks’ supported by it. Dear oh dear. Arie Brand
“They can all just crawl further into their holes never to be seen again.”

Indeed. Take their record payouts and crawl home to their multi-million-dollar luxury holes.

Clive Mather, President of Shell Canada appears to also share this view. As a major oilsands player in Canada, he is calling on the government to take action - emissions caps for example.

Many like minded executives want regulations imposed on the industry - otherwise they may be unable to justify the expenditures to the shareholders who are focused on short term profit.

The kind of leadership we need in the oilpatch to begin to address climate change, not spending endless time and resources denying the problem exists.

Shell seeks aid for CO{-2} storage Oil sands giant wants emissions caps, subsidies to encourage new technology



OTTAWA – As it moves ahead with a $10-billion plan to expand oil sands production, Shell Canada Ltd. is looking for government support for an ambitious project that would see it capture carbon dioxide emissions from its Edmonton-area upgrader and inject them into underground storage.

The company’s chief executive officer, Clive Mather, said the carbon capture and storage project represents a key strategy that would allow Canada to dramatically expand oil sands production while reducing – or at least not increasing – its greenhouse gas emissions.

But so far, provincial and federal governments have provided no incentives, either limits on carbon dioxide emissions or subsidies for abatement, for industry to pursue a technology that is currently uneconomic.

And Mr. Mather said, without government leadership, Canada will miss a golden opportunity to become a world leader in carbon capture and storage. “If Canada can establish a major operational model, you may actually promote Canadian industry in this area which would give it a competitive advantage in what I and others believe will be a significant business in the years ahead,” Mr. Mather said in a telephone interview…

This is worth listening to. A short audio clip of an interview with Clifford Krauss, NY Times on Canada Politics, Oilsands, Environment Thankfully, through the efforts of many, including DeSmogBlog, public opinion is changing in Canada - the environment now ranking #1 or #2 on most important issue for Canadians (depending upon whose poll you use).
This changes nothing. I’ll get excited when I see them actually doing something. Complaining about not getting another subsidy when oil prices are at an all-time high; whining about lack of political leadership: these are neither action nor leadership. (Don’t people see the irony in complaining about lack of leadership?) The oil companies have so much clout in this world that they could force the government to show leadership, enforce Kyoto, anything…if they wanted it. Look at OPEC. Look at Iraq. There’s no conspiracy, it’s just that when Big Oil talks, governments listen. If Shell is so concerned about the climate, it would roar. Yet it has done nothing but whimper.

And I’m not calling Hofmeister or Mather a liar. They’re just like any of us: concerned…talking…and doing absolutely nothing. But they have significantly more power than us.

I love DeSmogblog, but I suggest you change your focus. Denialists are out. Pious do-nothings are in. You’re going to see more and more statements of “concern” while nothing is done to back them up. It’s just changing one kind of smog for another. Complacency is the new denial. DeSmogBlog’s new role is to expose coroprate laziness and hypocrisy. Hold them to their expressions of concern.

Remember, Saudi Arabia signed Kyoto. Because they knew they could earn points for it, while not selling a drop less oil. We can’t let Shell et al get away with the same game. Please don’t let up on them until they’re taking actions commensurate with both their power, and the scale of the problem.

Time to get our head out of the oil sands - Jeffrey Simpson, Globe and Mail …Believe it or not, some representatives of the Alberta oil and gas industry suggested to the Harper government that it legislate greenhouse-gas emissions for large carbon emitters such as themselves, but the government turned the suggestion down because some ministers don’t believe that human activity causes global warming. Imagine: An industry suggests government impose burdens on it, and the government refuses!…
So let's keep an eye on this one and see if it's backed by action. Words like this from industry leaders are immensley helpful though and hopefully will continue the momentum and raised awareness we have been seeing lately.
…but talk won’t save the world. The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

I don’t want to be a miserable bastard and I recognize that this is a huge symbolic victory, but it doesn’t prevent a single ounce of CO2 out of the air (or the oceans…) We’ve been engaged in this ridiculous fight with the denialists for so long, that we might be lulled into thinking of this admission as victory. It’s not. It’s the atmosphere, stupid. We won’t have won until we’ve got real action–a real, viable strategy for keeping CO2 out of the atmosphere.

Acknowledging climate change makes it slightly harder, but it’s still very easy for the oil companies to do nothing.

Imagine: an industry makes a proposal it knows will fall on deaf ears, and the government refuses. The industry takes credit for being socially responsible…without actually doing anything. It’s win-win.

Ralph Klein has certainly been an impediment to progress on these issues. If Jim Dinning is elected Premier, it may have an impact - as a former Executive VP of TransAlta - one of the companies identified by Jeffrey Simpson in the earlier article:

For every company whose senior executives are concerned about the issue and accept the overwhelming scientific evidence that the problem exists – companies such as Nexen, TransAlta or Shell – there are others, such as Imperial Oil and EnCana, that remain unconvinced.

We’ll see.

You're dead on the money, Jak, in suggesting that the oil companies could easily be taking a leadership position - and aren't.

Instead, some (ExxonMobil) are still denying the problem, or are paying others to do so for them and others (Shell) are acknowledging the problem and pleading for government subsidies - notwithstanding that they have been creaming unprecedented profits while externalizing a terrifying cost (CO2 emission) that we all must pay.

Notwithstanding, our own federal government is still seriously learning impaired on this issue - and a significant number of imaginative commentators are still arguing that the scientific consensus about global warming is some kind left-wing plot.

So, for the time being, we're just pleased to welcome Shell's Mr. Hofmeister to the climate change cabal. The sooner we can drive a spike into this stupid “science” debate, the sooner we can move on to policy - urgent, aggressive, innovative policy.


Imperial’s oil sands project under attack

SHAWN MCCARTHY Globe and Mail Update

Ottawa — Imperial Oil Ltd. has come under fire for proposing a new oil sands project that opponents say will be among the country’s worst greenhouse gas emitters, even as the federal government faces increasing pressure to toughen its approach to climate change.

At a hearing of the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board in Fort McMurray Wednesday, the Pembina Institute, an Alberta-based environmental policy research organization, accused Imperial of neglecting climate change concerns in its proposed $5.5-billion Kearl oil sands development.

“They have absolutely no greenhouse gas management plan,” Marlo Raynolds, the institute’s executive director, said in an interview from Fort McMurray.

“And given today’s business realities and international realities, that a company would bring forward a $5-billion project with 3.7 million tonnes of greenhouse gas pollution every year should be a complete embarrassment to its shareholders and its consumers.” Mr. Raynolds said that, among the proposed oil sands mining projects, Imperial’s Kearl would be the worst emitter of greenhouse gas emissions per barrel of oil produced, considering that it would not include an upgrader to process the bitumen.

Environmental groups have consistently pointed to Imperial — and its parent, Exxon Mobil Corp. in the United States — as the oil companies that are most resistant to adopting strategies to combat climate change…

Can anybody tell me more about underground carbon storage? It seems to be of vital significance to the future of our planet, yet it’s very little talked about. Where’s the science on this one? Is it days, or decades away? Is there controversy? (I just know there’s controversy!)

I am a bit concerned that some people are banking on this solution, when it’s as yet unproven. The entire rationalization (such as it is) for pumping out the tar sands seems to turn on the fact that much of the carbon can be stored there… If it turns out not to work, then we’ll have borrowed on fake assets.

Anyway, I’d appreciate anyone letting me know.

Kinder Morgan is already active in the US using CO2 for miscible flood (enhanced recovery) in mature oilfields in Texas, Oklahoma etc.

They are bullish on opportunities for pipelines in Canada (oil, gas etc) - purchasing Terasen (formerly BC Gas) as a Canadian base for expansion.

While an overwhelming number percentage wise, no evidence of the actual numbers of scientists is offered, nor the survey from which this statistic is derived, source etc. And the generic term scientist is misleading - does this include every scientist on the planet? or merely a handful of atmosphere physicists and “climate scientists”? 98% has to be considered as an unsupported extravagant claim.
…that you’re an idiot, Louis. There are so many websites out there that need correcting…why choose this one? For example, NBC is making the extravagant, unsupported claim that everybody loves Raymond. I hope you’re seeing to this wild irresponsibility…
The myth of the debate being over originates from ……………………………………….. Hit “download without registration” for a demagoguery manual……… Quoting:……………………………………….. “Much of the noise in the climate change discourse comes from argument and counter-argument, and it is our recommendation that, at least for popular communications, interested agencies now need to treat the argument as having been won.” …………………………………………………………………………… I advise also to take note of a different opinion:……………………………………………………..………………………………………………………. Quoting:……………………………………………………….. “The declaration that the debate on global warming is over by activists, politicians and liberal scientists is indicative more of their contempt of the public than it is a result of vigorous scientific examination. Global warming proponents rely upon the publics’ lack of scientific training and experience to force their agendas into the political arena and then establish their acceptance. When confronted with the reality that there are scientists still in the scientific community who 1) are not convinced that global warming is occurring for a variety of valid reasons and 2) are not convinced that humans have anything to do with global warming if it is occurring, the agenda-driven dismiss these dissenters by asserting that they are so few in number their objections are meaningless.”
The big point here is that there is no oil lobby. Big Oil is as divided as everybody else. Shell and BP are Green, Exxon is skeptical, and the rest are undecided. David

Accusing everyone in the oil industry of being blind to climate change is as unfair as accusing all environmentalists of being leftist. Shell deserves some credit. Exxon, which has funnelled millions into organizations that have tried to confuse the science and the public, deserves every manner of public humiliation imaginable.

Thanks for that reminder.

Shell and BP have worked out that if carbon taxes are introduced then it’s actually financially beneficial for their shareholders. They’re no different to GE, the world’s largest supplier of nuclear power plants, agreeing that Climate Change is real…because they have the answer. The AGW debate is the greatest hoax of the 21st Century. It had its foundation in Europe’s desire to hobble the US economy (which is why the US would have to pay 66% of the total penalties if they signed up) due to Europe’s nanny state economies being unable to compete. The fact that the US didn’t sign has further harmed Europe’s competitive positioning, which has forced up energy prices and has seen their manufacturers increase their drive to set up in China and India. If you don’t believe that Kyoto is driven by European needs then there are two questions you need to answer. 1) Why is 1990 picked as the base year (the worst year on record for pollution in Europe, why not choose the average)? 2) Why is full carbon lifecycle accounting not included in the Protocol? i.e. the user pays the carbon tax? Note that Europe is a net importer of these products.