Justin Mikulka's blog

Fact-checking the American Petroleum Institute's New Ads Selling Natural Gas as a Climate Solution

Read time: 8 mins
API ad 'We're on it'

In 1998, the U.S.'s largest oil and gas industry lobbying group, the American Petroleum Institute (API), was involved with a communications plan whose goal was promoting “uncertainties in climate science” among the American public. Over 20 years later, their communications plan looks a little different but still needs fact-checking. 

In September, API began running TV, billboard, and social media ads promoting natural gas as a climate solution. “Thanks to natural gas, the U.S. is leading the way in reducing emissions,” the ads claim, and “leading the world in cutting greenhouse gas emissions.” But is all of that true?

Will the Fracking Revolution Peak Before Ever Making Money?

Read time: 7 mins
Fracking sites at night in Colorado

This week, the Wall Street Journal highlighted that the U.S. oil and gas shale industry, already struggling financially, is now facing “core operational issues.” That should be a truly frightening prospect for investors in American fracking operations, but one which DeSmog has long been warning of.

Will Rail Be Key to Exporting Canada's Tar Sands Oil to the World?

Read time: 6 mins
Fort McMurry, Alberta, tar sand mining

While Canadians turned out en masse for large climate protests last week, the country's oil and gas industry continued its plans to ramp up and export its massive and polluting reserves of tar sands oil, also known as bitumen, to the rest of the world. 

Several recent developments in the rail arena are setting up the tar sands industry to realize those plans in a major way.

Is Natural Gas the New Coal?

Read time: 7 mins
Greenhouse gas emissions from flaring and venting a fracked gas well

At a recent natural gas industry conference in Houston, Woodside Petroleum CEO Peter Coleman warned his colleagues to avoid the fate of another fossil fuel, according to trade publication Natural Gas Intelligence.

The industry really is at a critical juncture,” Coleman said. “We run the risk of being demonized like that other fossil fuel out there called coal.”

Oil and gas companies have been feeling mounting pressure, as signs emerge that oil is losing favor, both with the public amid climate concerns and with some investors.

The US Is Exporting a Fracked Climate Catastrophe

Read time: 6 mins
Roughnecks on a drilling rig

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.  

According to climate scientists, limiting the worst impacts of climate change means weaning the world off of fossil fuels, not ramping it up. But two factors, the U.S. “fracking revolution” that helped boost domestic oil and gas production to record levels combined with lifting the 40-year-long ban on exporting crude oil in 2015, are complicating that vision.

Are ISO's Draft Guidelines on Climate Action the First Steps Toward Geoengineering?

Read time: 5 mins
Sunset

In August, the French news service AFP revealed that the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has been drafting new climate action guidelines for businesses that raise concerns about promoting geoengineering as a climate solution. 

The ISO is an industry-driven  non-governmental organization that sets international standards for products, services, and systems, giving it a powerful voice in the global business community.

With these draft ISO guidelines, which DeSmog has obtained, the ISO appears poised to provide voluntary and market-based standards to address climate change that differ in a key way from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Climate Agreement. Instead of focusing on limiting global temperature rise, these guidelines argue for using radiative forcing, or the total excess heat warming Earth's atmosphere, as the metric.

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