Thursday, June 14, 2018 - 17:29 • Sharon Kelly

Back in 2011, The New York Times first raised concerns about the reliability of America's proved shale gas reserves. Proved reserves are the estimates of supplies of oil and gas that drillers tell investors they will be able to tap. The Times suggested that a recent Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rule change allowed drillers to potentially overbook their “proved” reserves of natural gas from shale formations, which horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) were rapidly opening up.

Welcome back to Alice in Wonderland,” energy analyst John E. Olson told The Times, commenting on the reliability of these reserves after the rule change. Olson, a former Merrill Lynch analyst, is best known for seeing the coming Enron scandal 10 years before the infamous energy company imploded in 2000.

Today, those same rules have allowed shale drillers to boost their reserves of oil, as well as natural gas. As a result, these “proved” reserves, which investors and pipeline companies are banking on, could potentially be much less proven than they appear.

And the unprecented degree to which this is happening in the shale industry casts a shadow of doubt on the purportedly bright future of America's booming oil and gas industry.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 11:41 • Itai Vardi
Read time: 5 mins

In a Twitter exchange that quickly devolved into a shouting match and the slinging of insults, an executive for a pipeline company called activists “awful soulless people.” Michelle Smith Hook, Director of Public Relations at Millennium Pipeline Company, was responding to heated tweets by activists in New York state who say the company is planning to construct a pipeline near a nesting bald eagle with eaglets, which are protected by federal law.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 10:29 • Graham Readfearn
Read time: 4 mins

For a group apparently hooked on transparency, the latest organization to spring from the loins of the fossil fuel–funded climate science denial industry certainly manages to obscure one or two pertinent facts.

Government Accountability and Oversight (GAO) — the name of the group given public charity status on March 20, 2018 by the Internal Revenue Service — is promising to publish documents about the people and groups behind ongoing court cases against the energy industry and its impact on the global climate.

We’re not going to get into the science debate and other arguments. We’ll just show the public the documents, so you can decide,” lawyer Chris Horner told a sympathetic Daily Caller about GAO’s Climate Litigation Watch (CLW) project.

Behind the group are three lawyers — one a Republican-elected district attorney, another a former radio host and “longtime friend” of Vice President Mike Pence, and Horner, who has been paid by coal companies and works at the fossil fuel–funded Competitive Enterprise Institute.

While apparently not wanting to “get into the science debate,” Climate Litigation Watch says the science linking fossil fuel producers to climate change is “dubious” — a position at odds with every major scientific academy on the planet.

So, who are these characters behind the GAO and its sole project, Climate Litigation Watch?

Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 03:00 • John Gibbons
Read time: 5 mins

Environmental groups have united in opposing a massive new terminal that would receive fracked gas from the US in a protected area on Ireland’s west coast. They fear the plan runs counter to Ireland’s newly agreed climate commitments and is contrary to the country’s decision to ban fracking.

The public consultation on the proposal closed yesterday.

Monday, May 14, 2018 - 16:05 • Chloe Farand
Read time: 3 mins

The UK likes to brag about its credentials as a global climate leader. But a new DeSmog UK investigation reveals that beneath the green veneer lies some dirty business.

At the centre of it all is the City of London and its junior stock exchange, the Alternative Investment Market (AIM).

DeSmog UK’s new three-part investigative series Empire Oil: London’s Dirty Secret, lifts the veil on a “boys' club” that generates wealth for The City from environmentally damaging activities in politically unstable regions.

Through detailed analysis of company activity and market data, it exposes how AIM’s “light touch” regulation and complex offshore company structures create an opaque corporate environment in which conflicts of interest have been shown to thrive.

Monday, May 14, 2018 - 12:28 • Ben Jervey
Read time: 5 mins

It’s a classic case of be careful what you wish for. Automakers asked the Trump administration to weaken emissions and efficiency standards for cars and light trucks, and are now anxious about just how much the Trump administration actually plans to weaken the standards.

On Friday, May 12, heads of car companies visited the White House, to make the awkward request that Trump not actually give them what they asked for.

Monday, May 14, 2018 - 09:34 • Brendan DeMelle
Read time: 1 min

Congratulations to our long-time colleagues Emma Gilchrist and Carol Linnitt, who are launching The Narwhal today to continue to advance more constructive conversations about energy and environment issues that are critical to Canada's future.

Check out their new website at thenarwhal.ca for top-quality independent news and analysis, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram if you don't already.

Saturday, May 12, 2018 - 02:24 • Guest
Read time: 4 mins

By Climate Home News

The rich world has a question to answer, according the chair of a powerful bloc of developing countries: what are they going to do about the cash promises reneged on by Donald Trump’s U.S.?

The withdrawal of U.S. climate finance by the Trump administration has left other developed countries with a dilemma. The commitment they made — to move $100 billion every year to poor countries to help them cope with climate change — was collective.

The U.S. is withholding $2 billion pledged to the UN’s Green Climate Fund and across the wider climate finance sphere, its retreat leaves a bigger hole.

Friday, May 11, 2018 - 14:16 • Guest
Read time: 3 mins

By Andy Rowell, crossposted with permission from Oil Change International

Last month, Oil Change International and DeSmog reported on the formation of a new organization, The Institute for Pension Fund Integrity (IPFI), which had published its first “white paper” on “getting politics out of pensions.”

The white paper pushed back against the growing global movement to end investment in fossil fuels. As we reported, the headline on the Institutional Investor website summed up the main finding of the report: “New Pensions Group Says Forget About Climate Change.”

Friday, May 11, 2018 - 12:17 • Sharon Kelly
Read time: 8 mins

Back in 2008, residents of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and surrounding areas received a notice in the mail advising them to drink bottled water instead of tap water — a move that Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) internal memos at the time described as “one of the largest failures in U.S. history to supply clean drinking water to the public.”

The culprit: wastewater from oil and gas drilling and coal mines. This included fracking wastewater that state officials had allowed to be dumped at local sewer plants — facilities incapable of removing the complex mix of chemicals, corrosive salts, and radioactive materials from that kind of industrial waste before they piped the “treated” water back into Pennsylvania's rivers.

Pages