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Big Oil

Campaigners Sued An Oil Major; Now The Company Is Preparing To Sue Them

In May, NGOs and citizens sued Italian oil giant Eni for its decades of lobbying and greenwashing to delay climate action. Barely two months later, Eni has laid the groundwork for a lawsuit of its own, alleging it has been harmed by a “massive campaign” of “serious defamatory declarations.” The move is indicative of a worldwide escalation of a legal tactic intended to cow critics into silence: SLAPPs — or strategic lawsuits against public participation. Enmeshing activists in lengthy legal proceedings can drain their time and resources — a win for the company even if it loses in court.

70 Years After Iranian Coup, The British Still Won’t Confess To Crimes

On Aug. 19, 1953, 70 years ago this week, the democratically elected prime minister of Iran, Mohammad Mosaddegh—who had seized Iran’s vast oil fields from the British and put them under Iranian control—was removed from power in a coup organized and financed by the British and US governments. He was replaced by the dictatorial Shah, who immediately signed over 40% of Iran’s oil fields to US companies. The coup ushered in a long nightmare of repression, buttressed by Iran’s brutal secret police, SAVAK, trained and equipped by the CIA. The Shah not only crushed the democratic aspirations of Iranians, but enriched US oil companies and purchased billions of dollars of weapons from US weapons manufacturers.

Congolese Students Are Taking On Big Oil

Student activists are traveling thousands of miles across the Democratic Republic of Congo to mobilize communities against the expansion of Big Oil. Pétrole Non Merci, or Petrol No Thanks, is a national campaign to oppose the proposed sale of 27 oil blocks and three gas blocks, most of which overlap protected areas. Anglo-French oil company Perenco recently bid to buy the new blocks and would export the oil using the EACOP pipeline. The campaign has a two-pronged strategy. First, they are mobilizing communities where the new oil blocks are located to build local power and hold officials accountable.

What Would It Take To Defeat Big Oil?

At a time when the world is close to irreversible climate breakdown, fossil fuel energy is growing, with oil being the biggest contributor to primary energy supply. Globally, approximately 33 percent of our energy comes from oil, followed by coal, gas and hydroelectric power. Indeed, oil companies are bringing in staggering profits, and oil production may even continue to increase through 2050. Why is it so hard to quit oil, and what would it take to defeat Big Oil? Progressive economist Gregor Semieniuk tackles exasperating questions like those in this exclusive interview for Truthout.

America’s Fossil Fuel Economy Is Heading For Collapse

US oil production is about to peak, but the world is unprepared for the tremendous economic and political consequences. The only path through is energy and economic transformation. The global economy is currently teetering on the edge of a banking crisis. The IPCC has just released its final major report warning that global carbon emissions need to peak and decline immediately if we are to avoid plunging into dangerous global warming by breaching the 1.5C ‘safe limit’. And in recent weeks and months, industry leaders have announced that the US shale oil and gas revolution is over. Yet few if anyone is talking about why these things are happening at the same time, and what they really mean.

UAE Names Oil Company Chief To Head COP28, Worrying Climate Activists

The selection of Sultan Al Jaber — head of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) — by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to lead this year’s COP28 Climate Change Conference in Dubai has climate activists worried that heavy industry has too big a hand in the worldwide response to the climate crisis. According to his office, Al Jaber — who is the Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology of the UAE, as well as its climate envoy — will assist with building a consensus during the conference’s intergovernmental negotiations and help decide the agenda of the climate summit, reported Reuters. “[Al Jaber] is straddling two worlds. One of climate negotiations where we have to make a giant leap in emissions reductions and financing the move away from fossil fuel emissions; second, as head of Adnoc. UAE wants to be seen to be leading on food, technology, adaptation and potentially innovative finance but how can they carry that off while being fossil fuel polluters?”

House Committee Wraps Up Historic Investigation Into Oil Industry

Congressional investigators released a new set of documents that underscored the oil and gas industry’s ongoing attempts to block climate policies and confuse the public about their long-term investments in fossil fuels. The latest tranche of documents caps off a nearly two-year investigation that appears set to come to an end with Republicans taking control of the House of Representatives in January. On December 9, the U.S. House Oversight and Reform Committee published its latest set of documents as part of its ongoing investigation into the oil industry’s history of climate denial and obfuscation. The documents offer more evidence showing that the industry’s “greenwashing” continues up to the present day.

Greenwashing Governments And Oil Companies Turned COP27 Into A Disaster

The international climate talks in Egypt — the 27th Conference of Parties to the 1992 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP27 — have become a dystopian nightmare: Oil companies, dictators and greenwashers captured the process more effectively than ever. But there is hope: Alliances are taking shape — between civil society, scientists and labor — that aim to break the fossil fuel companies’ deathly grip on climate policy. This year’s United Nations climate summit, which ends on November 17 at the luxury Sharm el-Sheikh resort, is the first to which oil and gas companies were invited to participate in the official program of events. Rachel Rose Jackson of Corporate Accountability commented that “COP27 looks like a fossil fuel industry trade show.”

More Than 600 Fossil Fuel Lobbyists Attend COP27

At last year’s COP26 UN climate conference in Glasgow, there were more representatives from the fossil fuel industry, at more than 500, than from any individual country. At this year’s climate talks in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, that number has increased by more than 25 percent. An analysis from Corporate Accountability, Corporate Europe Observatory and Global Witness found that there were at least 636 fossil fuel lobbyists registered at COP27, more than the combined delegations of the 10 countries most impacted by the climate crisis. The findings renewed calls to ban fossil fuel representatives from attending climate talks. “If you want to address malaria, you don’t invite the mosquitoes,” Phillip Jakpor of Public Participation Africa told BBC News.

Government Advisor Repeats ‘Russia Funded Anti-Fracking Protests’ Myth

A trade advisor to the UK government has repeated a baseless claim that protests against fracking were funded by the Kremlin.  Economist Catherine McBride, a member of the government’s Trade and Agriculture Commission advising on trade deals, said on GB News this week that Russia has given “billions of pounds” to green groups to “go and protest against fracking”.  As DeSmog has reported previously, this claim has been promoted by opponents of climate action following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine despite there being no evidence to support it.  Her remarks come after 24 MPs signed a letter last week organised by Net Zero Watch, the campaign arm of the climate science-denying Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), urging the government to scrap its moratorium on fracking for shale gas. 

Internal Documents Show Big Oil PR Messages Still ‘Mislead’ Public

New documents released by a congressional committee show that major oil companies, under pressure from the worsening climate crisis, have carefully crafted public messages to convey an effort of transitioning to cleaner technologies, but that the campaigns appear aimed at obscuring the fact that they remain “devoted to a long-term fossil fuel future,” the committee report states. The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform released a memo on September 14 that detailed documents and internal communications from oil companies including BP, Shell, and ExxonMobil, which show efforts to heavily promote their investments in promising technologies to address climate change, such as algae biofuels and Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS), while internally expressing doubt about the viability and immediacy of those investments.

Since 2021, Big Oil Has Spent Over $200 Million To Sabotage Climate Action

The oil and gas industry, one of the most powerful corporate forces in American politics, has spent more than $200 million over the past year and a half to stop Congress from slashing carbon emissions as evidence of their catastrophic impact—from deadly heatwaves to massive wildfires—continues to accumulate in stunning fashion. That topline estimate of the fossil fuel industry's lobbying outlays and congressional election spending in the U.S. was calculated by Climate Power, which provided its findings exclusively to Common Dreams. Nearly 80% of the industry's campaign donations during the time period examined went to Republican candidates, according to Climate Power, whose analysis draws on data from OpenSecrets.

When Scabs Are A Danger To Public Health

A dozen oil workers rally in front of the United Metro Energy (UMEC) terminal in Brooklyn on their 113th day on strike August 10. They’re fighting one of the largest suppliers of heating oil and motor fuels in New York. The strike began months prior, on April 19. After workers spent one of the hottest summers in decades on the picket line, the rally provided a much-needed morale boost. The workers were joined by dozens of supporters, including fellow Teamsters and some perhaps unexpected allies — four of New York City’s elected democratic socialists, all of whom campaigned for the drastic reduction of fossil fuel use.

Oil Industry Bigwigs Given Platform At COP26 Despite Organisers’ Claims

Representatives of major oil companies including BP will be speaking at COP26, despite reassurances from organisers that they wouldn’t be welcome, a programme from inside the venue reveals. Last month, it was revealed that oil companies including BP were being excluded from official roles at COP26, with organisers casting doubt on the firms’ claimed ambitions to eliminate carbon emissions. At the time, the exclusion was seen as a victory for environmental campaigners, who have long called for major polluters to be excluded from UN climate conferences. However, a programme of events obtained by openDemocracy reveals that representatives of Big Oil have been allowed into the conference under the umbrella of a trade association that has a stall at the heart of COP26.

The Dirty Dozen Documents Of Big Oil’s Secret Climate Knowledge

“Did we aggressively fight against some of the science? Yes,” said ExxonMobil lobbyist Keith McCoy. “Did we join some of these ‘shadow groups’ to work against some of the early efforts? Yes, that’s true. But there’s nothing illegal about that.” These are the words McCoy was caught saying on a secretly recorded video released by Unearthed, Greenpeace U.K.’s investigative journalism arm, and the British Channel 4 News this summer exposing how the oil giant and lobby groups such as the American Petroleum Institute seed doubt about climate change and undermine legislation to stop global warming. These revelations quickly spurred calls for Congress to investigate Exxon’s and other fossil fuel companies’ efforts to obstruct climate action.
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