ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM)

The Oil War in the Permian May Not Have Any Winners

Read time: 9 mins
A drilling rig on a former ranch outside of Bartsow, Texas in the Permian Basin.

At the same time a price war is raging in the global oil markets, a regional price war is playing out in the shale fields of Texas. The Texas oil war is between the major oil companies ExxonMobil and Chevron and the many independent shale oil producers.

Exxon May Crush Bailout Hopes for Suffering Fracking Companies

Read time: 10 mins
Antique truck rusting in the oil fields of Reeves County, Texas, in the Permian Basin.

The Washington Post reported March 10 that the Trump administration was considering some type of financial help for the failing U.S. shale oil and gas industry, “as industry officials close to the administration clamor for help.” Those officials — billionaire shale CEO Harold Hamm was likely among them — seemed desperate for government assistance because, as DeSmog has documented, their deeply indebted businesses have lost billions of dollars during the fracking boom. Even before the recent oil price war and COVID-19 pandemic, these companies could hardly stay afloat, making cries for some type of corporate welfare likely unavoidable. 

But that's not the same message across the entire oil and gas industry.

Exxon Now Wants to Write the Rules for Regulating Methane Emissions

Read time: 10 mins
A compressor station along newly constructed pipeline in Loving County, Texas.

ExxonMobil is a company capable of contradictions. It has been lobbying against government efforts to address climate change while running ads touting its own efforts to do so.

And while the oil giant has been responsible for massive methane releases, Exxon has now proposed a new regulatory framework for cutting emissions of this powerful greenhouse gas that it hopes regulators and industry will adopt. As Exxon put it, the goal is to achieve “cost-effective and reasonable methane-emission regulations.”

So, why is Exxon asking to be regulated?

The Future of Exxon and the Permian’s Flaring Crisis

Read time: 8 mins
Giant flare in the Permian Basin

On March 5, there was a sense of drama and tension unlike in years past as ExxonMobil’s top executives gathered for their annual Investor Day presentation, a highly anticipated event where the oil major lays out its plans for the next few years in an effort to woo investors.

Long a darling of Wall Street, that day the oil major’s share price had fallen to a 15-year low. Battered by a volatile oil market and increasing scrutiny over the climate crisis, investors wanted answers on how Exxon planned on dealing with the shifting landscape.

Momentum Builds to Monitor Cancer Alley Air Pollution in Real Time After Exxon Refinery Fire in Louisiana

Read time: 8 mins
Entrance to ExxonMobil’s Baton Rouge refinery on February 19, 2020, a week after a fire at the facility.

A large fire at ExxonMobil's Baton Rouge oil refinery late on February 11 lit up the sky for miles and continued until dawn. The night of the fire, ExxonMobil representatives claimed that air monitoring inside the plant and in surrounding neighborhoods did not detect the release of harmful concentrations of chemicals, a claim echoed by first responders and state regulators. What unfolded, however, reinforced a growing community movement to require real-time independent air pollution monitoring at industrial facilities.

Carbon Majors Can Be Held Liable for Human Rights Violations, Philippines Commission Rules

Read time: 5 mins
Climate justice now

By Isabella Kaminski, Climate Liability News. Originally published on Climate Liability News.

The world’s biggest polluters could be held legally liable for their contributions to climate change, a major national inquiry into the links between climate and human rights has concluded.

Years Before Exxon Valdez, Documents Show Exxon’s Imperial Oil Prioritized Public Image Over Spill Impacts

Read time: 8 mins
Imperial Oil Esso holding tanks

On February 4, 1970, the oil tanker SS Arrow was carrying a cargo of heavy bunker oil for Imperial Oil Limited when it encountered rough weather off the east coast of Canada. The ship’s captain had not sailed this route before and reportedly had no navigational charts. The ship itself had known problems with its navigation system. When the radar warned the crew of trouble ahead, the warning was ignored. The ship promptly ran aground on a well-known hazard, Cerberus Rock, ultimately spilling approximately 2.5 million gallons of oil, which coated 190 miles of shoreline.

Nearly two decades before the Exxon Valdez catastrophe in Alaska, the Arrow oil spill became a public relations black eye for Imperial Oil, a Canadian subsidiary of Exxon, and internal company documents published today by DeSmog and the Climate Investigations Center reveal that the company viewed the environmental disaster more in the context of improving its public image than improving safety measures that would reduce these types of environmental risks.

New Documents Reveal Exxon-owned Canadian Oil Giant's Shifting Climate Change PR

Read time: 9 mins
Imperial Oil gas station

It was 1971, less than a year after the world’s first Earth Day, and in Canada an oil giant was worried.

Public concern regarding environmental problems is being translated into legislation rapidly,” Imperial Oil warned in an annual research planning document dated January of that year. “The present trend in legislation will require substantial expenditures to reduce emissions and waste discharge for all facilities and reduce the impact on the environment of the products we sell.”

The Imperial Oil Files: New Collection Adds to Climate and Energy Research Archives On Science and Denial

Read time: 4 mins
ExxonMobil and Imperial Oil climate science denial

Today, DeSmog and the Climate Investigations Center are co-launching a large collection of documents from Exxon's Canadian subsidiary, Imperial Oil, that DeSmog collected from a company archive in Calgary over the past several years.

These documents add new context to the groundbreaking investigative reporting by Inside Climate News, and the Columbia School of Journalism in partnership with the Los Angeles Times, that revealed the #ExxonKnew conspiracy. Those journalistic efforts exposed the facts that Exxon’s own climate science research had confirmed the role of fossil fuels in driving global warming, and that the company pivoted away from that advanced knowledge, choosing instead to spend tens of millions of dollars funding climate science denial campaigns.

As New York Takes Exxon to Court, Big Oil’s Strategy Against Climate Lawsuits Is Slowly Unveiled

Read time: 12 mins
Rex Tillerson

By Dan Zegart

Last week, in a historic first, the former CEO of a major oil company took the witness stand in a New York City courtroom and spent four hours defending his company against charges that it misled investors about the potential impact of global warming on its viability as a business.   

Rex Tillerson, who led ExxonMobil from 2006 until the end of 2016 when he became U.S. secretary of state, was grilled by an attorney for the New York State attorney general for allegedly participating in a “longstanding fraudulent scheme” by Exxon to fool investors. More specifically, the company is charged with exaggerating the stringency of its financial safeguards in pricing risks from regulations restricting greenhouse gas emissions, according to the complaint filed last year in New York state court.    

But Tillerson's appearance was just one of several recent watershed moments for efforts to hold the fossil fuel industry accountable for its dominant role in causing climate change.

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