ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM)

Explosions in Three States Highlight Dangers of Aging Fossil Fuel Infrastructure

Read time: 7 mins
Site of gas pipeline explosion in Kentucky

On August 1, for the third time in as many years, Enbridge's Texas Eastern Transmission gas pipeline exploded. This tragic incident in central Kentucky killed a 58-year-old woman, Lisa Denise Derringer, and injured at least five others. Flames towered 300 feet high when the 30-inch diameter pipe ruptured at 1 a.m. and forced at least 75 people to evacuate.

“We opened the backdoor and it was like a tornado of fire going around and around and he said we were trapped,” survivor Jodie Coulter, 53, told CBS News, describing her efforts to flee on foot. Coulter, whose house was within 600 feet of the pipeline, suffered third-degree burns on her arms. “It felt like we were standing next to a blow torch.”

This explosion joins a string of others in the past several weeks involving America’s aging fossil fuel infrastructure — including a network of 2.6 million miles of pipelines, roughly half of which are over 50 years old, and over 130 oil refineries, many of which are 50 to 120 years old.

Op-Ed: Exxon’s Climate Denial Again Under Pressure at Investors Meeting

Read time: 4 mins
Exxon sign

This is a guest post by Zorka Milin, Senior Legal Advisor for Global Witness.

The world was recently stunned to see the highest ever recorded concentration of carbon dioxide in our planet’s atmosphere: 415 parts per million, and rising. This figure, the highest in the millions of years that humans have existed, is unthinkably ominous to most of us. Yet it was no surprise for the company responsible for emitting a good share of that CO2: Exxon’s own scientists predicted this grim milestone with eerie accuracy way back in 1982.

If Exxon knew back then, what is the company doing to tackle the growing greenhouse gas emissions that are already causing a climate and extinction crisis? ExxonMobil investors, and the public, deserve to know. The company’s response has been to bury its head in the sand and continue with business as usual. But that is not cutting it, and this week’s annual general meeting (AGM) is a major test, with the company facing a push by some of its investors such as New York state pension fund to oust the entire board.

Global Climate Coalition: Documents Reveal How Secretive Fossil Fuel Lobby Group Manipulated UN Climate Programs

Read time: 5 mins
Global Climate Coalition logo and 1997 strategy document cover image

A fossil fuel–backed industry group was able to influence the process behind the United Nations climate assessments for decades, using lobbyists and industry-funded scientists to manipulate international negotiations, a cache of recently discovered documents reveals.

The documents include hundreds of briefings, meeting minutes, notes, and correspondence from the Global Climate Coalition (GCC). They were released Thursday by the Climate Investigations Center in collaboration with DeSmog and Climate Liability News. The documents date from 1989 and continue through 2002, when the lobbying group disbanded as its fossil fuel industry backers succumbed to public pressure to disavow its tactics.

Chevron and Exxon Say They Can Turn Around the Failed Finances of Fracking Industry

Read time: 9 mins
Gas station sign reading 'Exxon' and 'On the Run'

After a decade of the American fracking industry burning through hundreds of billions of dollars more than it earned, this industry previously dominated by shale drilling specialists is entering a new phase. The oil majors — a group of multinational companies that typically have divisions throughout the oil supply chain — now are investing heavily in fracked oil and gas operations.

ExxonMobil Could Be Banned From EU Parliament After Failing to Show at Climate Hearing

Read time: 4 mins
ExxonMobil Torrance Refinery

By Olivia Rosane, EcoWatch. Reposted with permission from EcoWatch.

ExxonMobil could be the second company after Monsanto to lose lobbying access to members of European Parliament after it failed to turn up to a hearing Thursday into whether or not the oil giant knowingly spread false information about climate change.

The call to ban the company was submitted by Green Member of European Parliament (MEP) Molly Scott Cato and should be decided in a vote in late April, The Guardian reported.

‘All Rhetoric and No Action’: Oil Giants Spent $1 Billion on Climate Lobbying and Ads Since Paris Pact, Says Report

Read time: 7 mins
climate policy grades for five major oil companies

A new report by a British think tank estimates that since the 2015 Paris Agreement, the world’s five largest listed oil and gas companies spent more than $1 billion lobbying to prevent climate change regulations while also running public relations campaigns aimed at maintaining public support for climate action.

Combined, the companies spend roughly $200 million a year pushing to delay or alter climate and energy rules, particularly in the U.S. — while spending $195 million a year “on branding campaigns that suggest they support an ambitious climate agenda,” according to InfluenceMap, a UK-based non-profit that researches how corporations influence climate policy.

Fracking 2.0 Was a Financial Disaster, Will Fracking 3.0 Be Different?

Read time: 8 mins
Clippy paperclip art on fracking drill well pad

Two years ago, the U.S. fracking industry was trying to recover from the crash in the price of oil. Shale companies were promoting the idea that fracking was viable even at low oil prices (despite losing money when oil prices were high). At the time, no one was making money fracking with the business-as-usual approach, but then the Wall Street Journal published a story claiming all of this was about to change because the industry had a trump card — and that was technology.

Today, frackers are again relying on technology as a financial savior, but this time, they are looking to Microsoft.

Competitive Enterprise Institute's Climate Denial Efforts Target Media, Cities Filing Liability Suits

Read time: 7 mins
ExxonKnew sign on a building

By Karen Savage, Climate Liability News. Crossposted from Climate Liability News.

The conservative think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute has been busily pressing forward with its mission to promote climate denial, using high-profile tactics like full-page ads in major newspapers. But it is also working behind the scenes, filing records requests to dig for information from cities filing climate liability suits and academics studying the topic. 

As the science has grown definitive in tying global warming to the burning of fossil fuels, even oil companies have been forced to acknowledge the overwhelming scientific consensus and back away publicly from climate denial efforts. But CEI continues to double down on their mission to claim the science is not settled.

CEI made a splash this week by purchasing full-page ads in the Washington Post and Wall Street Journal taking issue with Meet the Press host Chuck Todd and NBC for refusing to give airtime to denialists during his Dec. 30 show about climate change.  

Supreme Court Blocks ExxonMobil's Effort to Conceal Decades of Documents in Probe of Oil Giant's Climate Deception

Read time: 4 mins
ExxonKnew protesters in T-rex costumes

By Jessica Corbett, Common Dreams

The high court's ruling means the company must hand over records to the Massachusetts attorney general for her ongoing investigation

In a win for climate campaigners and Massachusetts' Democratic Attorney General Maura Healey on Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected ExxonMobil's attempt to block Healey's demand for documents related to her state's ongoing investigation into allegations that one of the world's largest oil and gas corporations deceived the public and investors for decades about how fossil fuels drive global warming.

'Time is Running Out,' American Petroleum Institute Chief Said in 1965 Speech on Climate Change

Read time: 6 mins
Fire crew in California fire

The warning is clear and dire — and the source unexpected. “This report unquestionably will fan emotions, raise fears, and bring demand for action,” the president of the American Petroleum Institute (API) told an oil industry conference, as he described research into climate change caused by fossil fuels.

The substance of the report is that there is still time to save the world's peoples from the catastrophic consequence of pollution, but time is running out.”

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