Reducing Risk in California Extraction

New research shows that low-income communities and communities of color that are most impacted by oil and gas extraction (Frontline Communities) in California are at an elevated risk for preterm birth, low birth weight, and other negative birth outcomes. This is in addition to the elevated risks of cancer; risks for respiratory, cardiovascular, and pulmonary disorders; and risks for eyes, ears, nose, throat, and skin irritation that Frontline Communities face, among others. Public health interventions including setback requirements for oil and gas drilling are necessary to address the environmental health endemics documented in Frontline Communities. This analysis shows that approximately 2.17 million Californians live within 2,500’ of an operational oil and gas well, and about 7.37 million Californians live within 1 mile.

— source | Dec 17, 2020

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The Quest to Defuse Guyana’s Carbon Bomb

In late June, inside a squat concrete building in Georgetown, Guyana, on a noisy street flanked by telephone repair shops and beauty supply stores, two lawyers were waging one of the most significant legal battles in the global fight against climate change. Melinda Janki and Ronald Burch-Smith sat in a ground-floor office staring intently at a computer screen, ignoring the sounds of macaws, monkeys, tree frogs, and traffic packing the streets, waiting to connect to the country’s Supreme Court via Zoom. The internet is unreliable at best in Guyana’s capital city, and the fear that it would choose today to conk out was palpable.

The two lawyers were a bit of an odd couple. Burch-Smith is tall and meticulous. Ask him if he knows the time and he’s likely to answer “yes” rather than divulge the hour. Janki is a petite woman with warm eyes and a sharp wit, quickly moved to rigorous denouncements of injustice, from the war in Ukraine to the plight of the planet to the litter on the street. Burch-Smith has a framed Phantom of the Opera playbill above his desk. The art in Janki’s office is a little more confrontational: a life-size painting of a fierce yellow jaguar that appears poised to step out of a blackened forest and straight through the picture frame. Together, the two attorneys have mounted a novel and audacious attack on Exxon Mobil, one of the world’s largest corporations with the legal muscle to match.

In 2015, Exxon, which is known in Guyana as Esso, struck oil off the coast, the first significant find in the country’s history. The scale of the discovery, 11 billion barrels so

— source | Antonia Juhasz | Dec 20, 2022

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A former BP lawyer is going up against Exxon to stop offshore oil drilling

That’s the title of a new piece in Wired magazine by investigative journalist Antonia Juhasz which details an effort to block ExxonMobil from drilling off the shore of Guyana, where more than 11 billion barrels of oil have been discovered.

Guyana is a coastal nation on the north Atlantic coast of South America. It shares a border with Venezuela, Brazil and Suriname. Critics of the plan say the drilling could be a disaster for Guyana and the world as the climate emergency intensifies. Today, Guyana is considered to be a carbon sink, thanks to its dense rainforests and low emissions. But if Exxon has its way, Guyana could soon become what’s known as a “carbon bomb.”

This is just such a critically important case. It’s a landmark lawsuit that Melinda has launched against Exxon’s operations in Guyana. And these are brand-new operations — Exxon started producing in 2019 — making Guyana one of the few countries in the world — when the rest of the world or much of the world is trying to get off of fossil fuels, Guyana is one of the few countries that’s entering anew into the fossil fuel era, and in a really big way, if Exxon has any say in it. Exxon wants to produce, by 2030, 1 million barrels of oil a day offshore Guyana, and that would make Guyana its single-largest source of daily oil production

— source | Dec 23, 2022

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US Mining law has barely changed since 1872

This year has already brought some unusual setbacks for mining companies, thanks to the Biden administration. On January 26, the administration dealt a possibly fatal blow to Twin Metal Minnesota’s decades-long effort to reopen a nickel and copper mine near the Boundary Waters, the most visited wilderness area in the country. A few days later, the Environmental Protection Agency vetoed the proposed Pebble Mine, invoking the Clean Water Act to halt a gold and copper mine near one of the world’s largest spawning grounds for salmon in Alaska.

The rejections were rare for the industry — in the case of the Pebble Mine, it was the first time that the Clean Water Act was used to stop a hardrock mine. While tribes and environmental organizations welcomed the news, mining companies and their allies in Congress criticized the Biden administration for standing in the way of its own clean energy goals.

Metals like copper, nickel, and lithium are all used in electric vehicle batteries as well as for wind and solar energy storage; as such, they’ve been dubbed “critical” to getting the United States off fossil fuels. The landmark Inflation Reduction Act that Biden signed into law last summer aims to bolster domestic production of these minerals, with billions for mine development and tax credits for cars that use materials mined in the United States (or supplies from free-trade agreement partners). At the moment, there’s

— source | Blanca Begert | Feb 09, 2023

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Keystone pipeline shut after 14,000-barrel oil spill in Kansas

Canada’s TC Energy shut its Keystone pipeline in the United States after more than 14,000 barrels of crude oil spilled into a creek in Kansas, making it one of the largest crude spills in the United States in nearly a decade. The cause of the leak, which occurred in Kansas about 20 miles (32 km) south of a key junction in Steele City, Nebraska, is unknown. It is the third spill of several thousand barrels of crude on the pipeline since it first opened in 2010. The 622,000 barrel-per-day Keystone line is a critical artery shipping heavy Canadian crude from Alberta to refiners in the U.S. Midwest and the Gulf Coast.

Workers deployed a boom on the surface of Mill Creek, in Washington County, Kan., on Thursday to contain oil that leaked from the Keystone pipeline system.Credit…Kyle Bauer/KFRM Radio, via Associated Press

— source | Dec 9, 2022

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Fossil Fuel Companies Receive $11 Million a Minute in Subsidies

Fossil fuel companies received $5.9 trillion in subsidies last year, which works out at $11 million per minute, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says in a new report. The subsidies represent 6.8% of the global GDP and are expected to rise to 7.4% by 2025, says the report, which looked into the benefits that fossil fuel companies receive in ​​191 countries. The benefits that fossil fuel companies enjoy include direct subsidies that reduce prices (8%) and tax exemptions (6%), as well as indirect subsidies due to the economic costs of lives caused by air pollution (42%) and extreme weather events caused by global warming (29%), as well as congestion and road accidents (15%). The IMF said scrapping subsidies could help prevent nearly 1 million annual deaths from air pollution alone.

Despite efforts to invest in renewable energy and decarbonize the transportation sector, the IMF found that fossil fuel subsidies have increased in recent years and the organization forecasts that they will continue increasing, even though G7 nations had previously agreed to scrap fossil fuel subsidies by 2025.

— source | Oct 21, 2021

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Exxon makes USD $2,245.62 every second

The amounts are obscene. They are mind-boggling. This is profit-making like you have never seen it before. It is also profiteering from war and price gouging at our expense. Big Oil is making billions of the misery of millions.

On Friday, oil giants Exxon and Chevron reported record second quarter profits, a day after Shell’s results.

First, let’s look at Exxon. The company made USD 17.9 billion in net profit in the 2nd quarter of 2022.

We should call it out for what it is. This is blood money. This is crude capitalism at its worse.

Put another way, the company made a staggering USD $2,245.62 every second of every day of the 92-day long quarter as gas prices rocketed on the back of war in Ukraine. This was a

— source | Andy Rowell | Aug 1, 2022

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