Friday, August 16, 2019 - 14:08 • Sharon Kelly

Christopher Leonard’s new book, Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America, begins, appropriately enough, with an FBI agent, who is investigating criminal activity by the company, standing in a field with a pair of binoculars, trying to catch a glimpse of the daily operations of a company that prizes secrecy.

Koch Industries was under investigation for theft of oil from the Osage and other Indigenous nations. Walking into the company's office building involved passing through security checkpoints, Leonard explains, so numerous that one investigator later told Leonard that it “reminded him of traveling to CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia.”

Through exhaustive reporting and extraordinary interviews with past and current company executives, including some turned whistleblower, Kochland offers readers a view far larger than can be seen through binocular lenses, walking readers past those layers of security checkpoints and into the inner workings of an institution that has for decades tirelessly built itself into practically all American lives, while largely evading accountability or transparency.

Sunday, June 23, 2019 - 07:06 • Guest
Read time: 5 mins

By Warren Mabee, Queen's University, Ontario

On June 18, the government of Canada declared a national climate emergency. The next day, the same government approved the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion (TMX), which will be able to move almost 600,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta to the Port of Burnaby in British Columbia.

If this seems like a contradiction, you are not alone.

Friday, June 21, 2019 - 15:35 • Itai Vardi
Read time: 5 mins

While still in office, Massachusetts’ former energy and environmental secretary Matthew Beaton, who recently left his post for the private sector, took part in discussions about a natural gas project involving his new employer, DeSmog has found.

Friday, June 21, 2019 - 13:20 • Guest
Read time: 12 mins

Originally posted on Climate Investigations Center.

The collection of Global Climate Coalition (GCC) documents we compiled and released this April reveal that the organization had a singular focus, slowing down or derailing the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations process and “tracking” the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), undermining the scientists’ message of urgency.  In the GCC meeting minutes and press releases we see numerous interventions at the UN meetings along with strategies, budgets and debriefs.

So we decided it would be interesting to compile every fossil fuel company and trade group delegate who ever attended UNFCCC meetings. This research debuted in an Agence-France Press AFP piece and on Yahoo News this week during a UNFCCC meeting in Bonn, Germany.

Thursday, June 20, 2019 - 15:09 • Ben Jervey
Read time: 4 mins

House Democrats in the Energy and Commerce Committee are actively investigating the oil industry’s role in shaping the Trump administration’s proposed rollback of greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards for cars and light duty trucks.

Thursday, June 20, 2019 - 14:13 • Itai Vardi
Read time: 7 mins

As part of a growing trend of lawsuits over climate change impacts, cities and states across the U.S. are seeking damages from oil, gas, and coal companies whose products drive the crisis and which for years evidently engaged in disinformation and denial campaigns to stall climate action.

Now the fossil fuel industry is pushing back, taking a page out of Big Tobacco’s playbook to rein in that liability litigation, and getting help from an unexpected source.

Behind the scenes, politically affiliated groups are quietly providing support. One of the outfits promoting the efforts to counter the slew of climate lawsuits is none other than the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI), a center-left Washington, D.C.-based think tank with links to the Democratic party. 

Thursday, June 20, 2019 - 07:50 • Guest
Read time: 5 mins

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

Former coal lobbyist and Trump-appointed U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler signed a rule Wednesday that officially replaces the Obama-era Clean Power Planwith a new regulation that Wheeler said could lead to the opening of more coal plants, the Associated Press reported.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 - 14:14 • Guest
Read time: 3 mins

By Jake Johnson, Common Dreams. Originally posted on Common DreamsCC BY-SA 3.0

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday is reportedly expected to approve a $5.5 billion expansion of the Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline, a move environmentalists warned would make an “absolute mockery” of the House of Commons' vote to declare a climate emergency just hours earlier.

Monday, June 17, 2019 - 16:12 • Guest
Read time: 5 mins

By Neta C. Crawford, Boston University

Scientists and security analysts have warned for more than a decade that global warming is a potential national security concern.

They project that the consequences of global warming — rising seas, powerful storms, famine and diminished access to fresh water — may make regions of the world politically unstable and prompt mass migration and refugee crises.

Some worry that wars may follow.

Yet with few exceptions, the U.S. military’s significant contribution to climate change has received little attention. Although the Defense Department has significantly reduced its fossil fuel consumption since the early 2000s, it remains the world’s single largest consumer of oil — and as a result, one of the world’s top greenhouse gas emitters.

Sunday, June 16, 2019 - 12:03 • Ben Jervey
Read time: 5 mins

A West Virginia Republican is gathering signatures from fellow members of Congress for a letter opposing any extension to the electric vehicle (EV) tax credit. Representative Alex Mooney is getting an assist in his efforts from FreedomWorks, the major conservative advocacy center that helped launch the Tea Party movement.

In an email sent Monday to Congressional staffers and reviewed by DeSmog, FreedomWorks’ Vice President of Legislative Affairs, Jason Pye, “urges your boss to sign the letter against an expansion of the electric vehicle tax credit.” The “Draft Anti-Electric Car Tax Credit Letter” repeats a number of easily discredited and false talking points that have been echoed repeatedly by opponents of the tax incentive.    

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