In blow to climate, coal plants emitted more than ever in 2018

In blow to climate, coal plants emitted more than ever in 2018

SOURCE: Washington Post DATE: March 25, 2019 SNIP: Global energy experts released grim findings Monday, saying that not only are planet-warming carbon-dioxide emissions still increasing, but the world’s growing thirst for energy has led to higher emissions from coal-fired power plants than ever before. Energy demand around the world grew by 2.3 percent over the past year, marking the most rapid increase in a decade, according to the report from the International Energy Agency. To meet that demand, largely fueled by a booming economy, countries turned to an array of sources, including renewables. But nothing filled the void quite like fossil fuels, which satisfied nearly 70 percent of the skyrocketing electricity demand, according to the agency, which analyzes energy trends on behalf of 30 member countries, including the United States. In particular, a fleet of relatively young coal plants located in Asia, with decades to go on their lifetimes, led the way toward a record for emissions from coal fired power plants — exceeding 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide “for the first time,” the agency said. In Asia, “average plants are only 12 years old, decades younger than their average economic lifetime of around 40 years,” the agency found. Monday’s report underscores an unnerving truth about the world’s collective efforts to combat climate change: Even as renewable energy rapidly expands, many countries — including the United States and China — are nevertheless still turning to fossil fuels to satisfy ever-growing energy demand. “We are in deep trouble,” Rob Jackson, a professor of Earth system science at Stanford University, said of Monday’s findings. “The climate consequences are catastrophic. I...
B.C. government announces new tax credit for LNG projects

B.C. government announces new tax credit for LNG projects

SOURCE: CBC News DATE: March 25, 2019 SNIP: The B.C. government is introducing new legislation that it says would attract more LNG projects to the province, in part by granting tax credits. Finance Minister Carole James said the proposed changes will bring thousands of jobs to B.C. “British Columbians are counting on us to attract LNG investment that meets strict conditions: delivering jobs and financial benefits to B.C., creating economic partnerships with Indigenous peoples and protecting our clean air, land and water,” James said in a news release. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver said the new legislation sends mixed messages about the government’s commitment to addressing climate change. “Continuing to push for LNG development is short-sighted and works directly against CleanBC objectives,” Weaver said in a statement. He described the decision as “a generational sellout” that will only serve to increase greenhouse gas emissions. Karen Ogen-Toews, who heads the First Nations LNG Alliance, believes that project could be a windfall for Northern B.C. communities. “There’s a definite opportunity. Once the pipe is in the ground, our community will be seeing legacy payments.” She says Northern B.C. towns have suffered wildfires, lost logging and mill jobs to pine beetles and watched mines close. She is applauding the tax breaks and tax credits which she says are needed to get B.C. gas to...
Oil Giants Invest $110 Billion In New Fossil Fuels After Spending $1 Billion On Green PR

Oil Giants Invest $110 Billion In New Fossil Fuels After Spending $1 Billion On Green PR

SOURCE: HuffPost DATE: March 21, 2019 SNIP: The world’s five largest publicly traded oil companies are increasing their investments in oil and gas, putting a combined $110 billion in new fossil-fuel production. Meanwhile, those firms are projected to spend just $3.6 billion on low-carbon investments, such as biofuels and renewables, according to a new analysis that Influence Map, a British nonprofit that analyzes corporate influence on climate policy, derived from industry data and numbers buried in company disclosures. The reckless disparity comes just months after the United Nations warned that the world must rapidly phase out fossil fuel use over the next decade or face catastrophic global warming of at least 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit. Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, BP and Total together have spent more than $1 billion on public relations promoting green energy projects and lobbying on behalf of climate policy in the past three years, after virtually every nation on Earth agreed to cut emissions under the Paris Agreement. The report found that the companies spent $195 million annually over the past three years promoting their role in helping to address the climate crisis. The companies spent a combined $200 million a year lobbying on activities to influence climate change policy both directly and by funding trade associations, the report...
Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are quietly helping Big Oil destroy the climate

Amazon, Google, and Microsoft are quietly helping Big Oil destroy the climate

SOURCE: Think Progress DATE: Feb 28, 2019 SNIP: ExxonMobil and Microsoft announced last week that they are partnering in the “largest-ever oil and gas” deal to use cloud computing, which the corporations say will boost production up to 50,000 barrels of oil per day by 2025. Microsoft likes to tout how it’s running its operations on 100 percent renewable energy and embracing the Paris climate agreement. The company’s founder, Bill Gates, also portrays himself as a champion of climate action. But the tech giant is working overtime to close deals with the world’s biggest oil companies to help them boost fossil fuel production using the latest information technology, such as cloud computing, which enables companies to capture, store, and analyze vast amount of data in real time. Google launched a new oil, gas, and energy division in 2018 “to court the oil and gas industry,” the Wall Street Journal reported last summer. It’s headed by Darryl Willis, who worked at BP for nearly three decades, and has already made deals with oil giants like Anadarko Petroleum and France’s Total, and oilfield services companies like Schlumberger and Baker Hughes. In September, Google announced a major deal with a Houston energy investment bank. The goal of this partnership is to “cut costs in the wake of the oil bust and remain competitive as electric vehicles and renewable power sources gain market share,” according to The Houston Chronicle. Amazon Web Services, the largest provider of cloud computing in the world, has its own “Oil & Gas” division. Amazon promises it can help Big Oil “unleash innovation to optimize production and profitability.” It...
Another Oil Train Crashes as Alberta Government Gets Into Oil-by-Rail Business

Another Oil Train Crashes as Alberta Government Gets Into Oil-by-Rail Business

SOURCE: Desmog Blog DATE: February 26, 2019 SNIP: The government of Alberta, Canada, the heart of tar sands country, recently announced plans to get into the oil-by-rail business. Attempting to work around a lack of pipelines, the provincial government intends to spend $3.7 billion to lease 4,400 oil tank cars and locomotives to export more Canadian tar sands oil to the U.S. The announcement came just days after the latest oil train derailment and spill in Manitoba, Canada. New regulations enacted after the 2013 oil train disaster killed 47 in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, require oil and rail companies to use newer rail cars to move oil. And while these new tank cars — known as DOT-117 and 117Rs — are more robust than the older tank cars involved in the deadly incident, they aren’t immune to the forces of a train derailment. In the past year, two Canadian oil trains consisting of these “safest” tank cars have derailed and resulted in large oil spills. The most recent oil train crash, which occurred on a ranch in Manitoba on February 16, involved 37 derailed tank cars. No details have been released on the amount of oil spilled, but aerial photos show streams of dark black oil leaking from the damaged tank...