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Oil and Gas

Hundreds Of People Disrupt Fossil Gas Lobby Conference In Austria

Vienna, Austria - More than four hundred people protested against the European Gas Conference (EGC), blocking streets around the Mariott Hotel Vienna, the conference venue. The European Gas Conference is a three-day ‘high-level’ event where representatives of fossil fuel companies such as Shell, Total and BP meet with financial investors and political representatives to take decisions on major energy projects. Despite massive police presence trying to keep the conference behind closed doors, hundreds of people blocked the streets. The protesters demand an end to the fossil exploitation being planned behind closed doors at the EGC and call for comprehensive changes in order to create a just energy system.

Biden Betrays Youth With Willow Project And Breaks His Own Promise

Despite overwhelming outcry by young people and climate justice advocates, President Joe Biden broke under the pressure of the fossil fuel industry March 13 to approve ConocoPhillips’s Willow project — the single largest oil project ever proposed on U.S. federal lands. It’s $8 billion of fossil fuel infrastructure in Alaska that impacts Indigenous communities, that will destroy wild landscapes north of the Arctic Circle and will erase nearly all of the climate benefits of Biden’s current renewable energy projects on public lands. Willow also concretely breaks Biden’s 2020 climate promise to stop new drilling on public lands, and the disastrous decision must serve as a wake-up call for all of us.

Indigenous Group Fighting Emissions Cap Supported By Oil Company

A national Indigenous group is fighting a proposed federal limit on oil and gas sector emissions by arguing it will harm First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities. But the group has a powerful non-Indigenous ally, according to corporate documents from Canada’s second-largest oil and gas producer. Cenovus, a Calgary-based oil sands company that last year had net earnings of $6.5 billion, says in those documents that it has paid for membership with the Indigenous Resource Network (IRN). Yet a spokesperson for the network called that a “misrepresentation.”

Environmentalists, Indigenous Groups Blast Approval Of Willow Oil Project

Indigenous people and environmental groups on Monday swiftly slammed the Biden administration's approval of the controversial Willow oil drilling project along Alaska's North Slope. They say the ConocoPhillips plan—which would be the largest oil development on federal land in US history—conflicts with the president's promise that no new oil and gas drilling would happen on public lands under his leadership and that the move keeps the country tethered to toxic fossil fuels at a time when scientists say the nation needs to be moving away from carbon pollution.

Tiktok Campaign Targets Controversial Alaska Willow Oil Project

With 161.5 million views and counting on TikTok alone, the #StopWillow social media campaign has left no question of the groundswell of opposition to the proposed oil development project Willow on Alaska’s remote North Slope. Social media users have been using the hashtag to voice their resistance to President Joe Biden’s failure to keep his campaign pledges to reduce oil drilling. “With all of the progress that the U.S. government has made on climate change, it now feels like they’re turning their backs by allowing Willow to go through,” said climate activist Hazel Thayer, who posted TikTok videos using the #StopWillow hashtag, as The Associated Press reported.

Europe’s Gas Lobby Exploits Energy Security Fears Over Past Year

Europe’s gas industry has ramped up its messaging since Russia invaded Ukraine, exploiting fears over energy security to justify projects that risk locking the continent into long-term dependence on fossil fuels, DeSmog can reveal. Four big industry groups began to post many more tweets portraying investments in gas and related infrastructure as the key to secure energy supplies soon after the invasion started — and maintained this strategy throughout last year, an analysis of their social media accounts found. The lobby groups were Gas Infrastructure Europe; Gas For Climate; Eurogas; and the European branch of the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers, which represent companies operating pipelines, gas storage, and infrastructure to import liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Big Oil’s Secretly Validating Critics’ Concerns About Carbon Capture

Last February, ExxonMobil announced it would further expand its only active carbon capture and storage (CCS) operation in the United States, located at a gas processing facility in LaBarge, Wyoming. Shute Creek is the world’s largest CCS project and has been operational for over 30 years. Although the oil giant publicly touts carbon capture as a “proven” climate solution, its own early foray reveals just how flimsy of a fix the technology really is — and how expensive, both for taxpayers and the climate. For starters, at Exxon’s Shute Creek, nearly all of the CO2 separated from the extracted fossil gas either has been sold, for a profit, to other drillers to use for squeezing out hard-to-recover oil elsewhere (a process called enhanced oil recovery) or vented back into the atmosphere.

A Pipeline Brings Gas And Revolt To Southern Italy

Puglia, Italy - The mole arrived after dark — an almost 20-yard, 75-ton machine sent to bore a tunnel beneath the Adriatic Sea and into southern Italy. The tunnel would house the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), a multinational fossil fuel project critics say would threaten Salento’s turquoise coast, upend local farms, and enrich a corporation at the expense of the local population. The following evening, dozens of locals gathered in the streets to defend their territory against the pipeline’s incursion, and for the second time in two years, a rural swath of southern Italy’s Salento region was declared a “red zone” in early 2019. Riot police in blue helmets, shields and batons at the ready, closed coastal highways and country roads, stood guard at major intersections, and restricted movement for the sake of a pipeline that no one seemed to want. “Mafioso! Merda!” the protesters yelled, cursing at the officers. “What you are doing is dirty and you know it!”

Research Suggests Offshore Oil’s Methane Pollution Is Underestimated

Flying 10,000 feet above the Gulf of Mexico, in a plane outfitted with infrared imaging equipment, researchers could see methane gas bubbling under water, likely from an undetected pipeline leak. Over the course of several flights in 2021, they spotted frequent gas plumes from platforms, storage tanks, and pipelines offshore, leading the team to believe that the 151 platforms near the Louisiana coast had a much higher methane leak rate than what’s been measured for onshore oil and gas production. “I think the bottom line message in this study is there’s a lot of emissions in the shallow waters that are currently unmeasured,” said Riley Duren, the CEO of Carbon Mapper and coauthor of the nonprofit’s 2022 study of offshore methane emissions. New technologies are allowing for actual measurements of oil and gas methane emissions like never before, whether from leaks or intentional flaring and venting.

Oil Lobby Prompts Right-Wing Media To Save Whales—From Wind Power

As a humpback whale was found on the shore at Brigantine, New Jersey on January 12—the seventh dead whale to wash up on a New York or New Jersey beach since December 5—local Republicans rushed to blame it on offshore wind development projects. “Not even the whales can survive [New Jersey Gov.] Murphy’s Energy Master Plan,” lamented the Jersey GOP on Twitter (1/18/23). The partisan account linked to a story in the New Jersey Monitor (1/17/23) with the alarming headline “Debate Grows Over Offshore Wind, as Whale Deaths Mount.” The article began by laying out that debate—”environmentalists put out dueling calls to continue or curtail offshore wind work”—before including an important clarification about wind farm construction and the whale deaths: “no evidence shows it caused the casualties.”

Federal Court Rejects Drilling And Fracking In Greater Chaco Region

A federal appeals court yesterday rejected the Biden administration’s defense of unchecked oil and gas fracking in the Greater Chaco region of northwest New Mexico, ruling the U.S. Interior Department flouted the law when approving 199 drilling permits in the culturally significant landscape. The ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit is being hailed as a victory for Tribal and environmental groups who have worked for years to defend the landscape from rampant oil and gas extraction. With Chaco Canyon at its heart, the Greater Chaco region is a living and ancient cultural landscape, spanning northwest New Mexico, southwest Colorado, southeast Utah, and northeast Arizona. Today, Chaco Canyon in northwest New Mexico is a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, considered one of the most important archaeological sites in the Western Hemisphere.

Multipolar Economic Order

The international economic system had been dominated for decades by the United States, but this financial architecture is rapidly fracturing with the creation of new institutions in the Global South. The BRICS bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa is working “to develop a fairer system of monetary exchange”, to challenge the “dominance of the dollar”, South Africa’s foreign minister has revealed. Saudi Arabia publicly confirmed that it is considering selling its oil in other currencies. China’s President Xi Jinping said Beijing will buy energy from the Persian Gulf states in its own currency, the renminbi. Prominent economist Zoltan Pozsar, of the Swiss investment bank Credit Suisse, has observed that the “unipolar era” of US hegemony is quickly being replaced with a new “multipolar” order of “one world, two systems”.

Hezbollah Claims The US Is Preventing Iranian Oil Supply To Lebanon

The US is preventing Iranian energy projects from supplying oil to Lebanon, claimed Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, chief of Hezbollah, in a televised speech on Tuesday, January 17. This oil, he said, could have provided relief to millions of Lebanese suffering from lack of electricity and fuel. Speaking at the award ceremony of the Soleimani International Prize for Resistance Literature, Nasrallah noted that all of Lebanon is suffering from the energy crisis, “whose repercussions are affecting the economy and the people’s daily lives,” Al-Mayadeen reported. Nasrallah claimed that Hezbollah had initiated talks with Iran to get oil, as per decisions made by the government. Iran had agreed to provide oil to Lebanon, and while the “Iranian offer is still on the table,” the US is “preventing the offer from being carried out,” he said. Lebanon has been unable to import enough oil and gas as it faces an unprecedented economic crisis since 2019.

A Window Into Louisiana’s Continued Embrace Of The Fossil Fuel Industry

Louisiana - I live in South Louisiana on the front lines of the climate crisis and cover the fossil fuel industry and impacts related to the warming planet, so facing gaslighting is a regular occurrence for me. So it resonated with me that Merriam-Webster dictionary chose “gaslighting” as the word of the year. This year saw a 1,740 percent increase in lookups for gaslighting, according to a post by the dictionary company, which defines gaslighting as “the act or practice of grossly misleading someone especially for one’s own advantage.” I would add to that, that gaslighting is a driver of disorientation and mistrust, and a common practice used by the fossil fuel industry — one that DeSmog is committed to countering by drawing connections to those funding misinformation.

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.
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