Why Texas’s fossil fuel support will ‘spell disaster’ for climate crisis

Why Texas’s fossil fuel support will ‘spell disaster’ for climate crisis

SOURCE: The Guardian DATE: December 7, 2019 SNIP: In the same month that Greta Thunberg addressed a UN summit and millions of people took part in a global climate strike, lawmakers in America’s leading oil- and gas-producing state of Texas made a statement of their own. Texas’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Act went into effect on 1 September, stiffening civil and criminal penalties specifically for protesters who interrupt operations or damage oil and gas pipelines and other energy facilities. Within a couple of weeks, two dozen Greenpeace activists who dangled off a bridge over the Houston ship channel became the first people charged under the new law, which allows for prison sentences of up to 10 years and fines of up to $500,000 for protest groups. With kindred spirits in the Trump White House, Texas is now intensifying its support of the fossil fuel industry and, pipeline by pipeline, literally laying the groundwork for production to ramp up even more in the next decade. The scale of new production is “staggering”, according to an analysis by Global Witness, a campaign group, with Texas leading the way as US output of oil and gas is forecast to rise by 25% over the next decade. This makes it a “looming carbon timebomb”, the group believes, in a period when global oil and gas production needs to drop by 40% to mitigate the worst impacts of the climate crisis. “The sheer scale of this new production dwarfs that of every other country in the world and would spell disaster for the world’s ambitions to curb climate change,” the report states. The US is...
Natural Gas Rush Drives a Global Rise in Fossil Fuel Emissions

Natural Gas Rush Drives a Global Rise in Fossil Fuel Emissions

SOURCE: Inside Climate News DATE: December 3, 2019 SNIP: A surge in natural gas has helped drive down coal burning across the United States and Europe, but it isn’t displacing other fossil fuels on a global scale. Instead, booming gas use is fueling the global growth in greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study by researchers at Stanford University and other institutions. In fact, natural gas use is growing so fast, its carbon dioxide emissions over the past six years actually eclipsed the decline in emissions from the falling use of coal, the researchers found. The findings of the study, published Tuesday, support those from other recent studies that found the world is continuing to rely on fossil fuels—including coal—to meet growing energy demand, even as renewable energy sees soaring growth. “Globally, most of the new natural gas being used isn’t displacing coal, it’s providing new energy. That’s the key interaction, and that’s true for renewables even,” said Rob Jackson, a professor of Earth system science at Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences and the report’s lead author. Supporters often refer to natural gas as a “bridge fuel” between higher-emitting fossil fuels and renewable energy, but some industry executives have instead begun calling it a “forever fuel”—one they see continuing to grow for decades to come. Globally, natural gas is the fastest growing fossil fuel. One of the biggest developments has been a rapidly expanding market for liquefied natural gas, or LNG, an energy-intensive product that allows energy companies to ship gas overseas. Australia has tripled its LNG exports since 2013, the report says, and is...
Flood of Oil Is Coming, Complicating Efforts to Fight Global Warming

Flood of Oil Is Coming, Complicating Efforts to Fight Global Warming

SOURCE: New York Times DATE: November 3, 2019 SNIP: A surge of oil production is coming, whether the world needs it or not. The flood of crude will arrive even as concerns about climate change are growing and worldwide oil demand is slowing. And it is not coming from the usual producers, but from Brazil, Canada, Norway and Guyana — countries that are either not known for oil or whose production has been lackluster in recent years. This looming new supply may be a key reason Saudi Arabia’s giant oil producer, Aramco, pushed ahead on Sunday with plans for what could be the world’s largest initial stock offering ever. Together, the four countries stand to add nearly a million barrels a day to the market in 2020 and nearly a million more in 2021, on top of the current world crude output of 80 million barrels a day. That boost in production, along with global efforts to lower emissions, will almost certainly push oil prices down. Lower prices could prove damaging for Aramco and many other oil companies, reducing profits and limiting new exploration and drilling, while also reshaping the politics of the nations that rely on oil income. The new rise in production is likely to bring economic relief to consumers at the gas pump and to importing nations like China, India and Japan. But cheaper oil may complicate efforts to combat global warming and wean consumers and industries off their dependence on fossil fuels, because lower gasoline prices could, for example, slow the adoption of electric vehicles. Years of moderate gasoline prices have already increased the popularity...
Russia finds market for its vast reserves of Arctic coal

Russia finds market for its vast reserves of Arctic coal

SOURCE: The Barents Observer DATE: November 1, 2019 SNIP: It was not alternative and green power that was discussed when Indian Minister of oil, natural gas and steel Dharmendra Debendra Pradhan visited Russia last month. The minister was on a four-day tour in the Russian Far East and he had with him a powerful delegation of leaders from the country’s biggest industrial companies. It was coal that was on top of Mr Pradhan’s agenda as he sat down with Russian government officials and business representatives. “Our negotiations must end with a successful project decision on the development of metallurgic coal, that is to be exported from Russia,” the minster said in a meeting with the Russian Ministry of the Far East and Arctic. According to Pradhan, India needs about 70 million tons of high-quality coal for its aluminum and steel industry. Pradhan and the Indian business leaders are looking towards the Russian Arctic, where they will find all the carbon-rich rocks they ever might need. Several new major mining projects are under development in the remote northern region. Among them is the projects of company Vostok Coal in the Taymyr Peninsula. Vostok Coal plans to extract an annual 30 million tons of anthracite, a high-quality coal, from its fields in Taymyr. Since 2016, the company has prepared the ground for a huge industrial project that includes several open pits and the building of seaports, roads and other infrastructure. Coal India Limited is the largest coal-producing company in the world. It produces more than 500 million tons of raw coal per year and accounts for for more than 80 percent...
No choice but to invest in oil, Shell CEO says

No choice but to invest in oil, Shell CEO says

SOURCE: Reuters DATE: October 14, 2019 SNIP: Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) still sees abundant opportunity to make money from oil and gas in coming decades even as investors and governments increase pressure on energy companies over climate change, its chief executive said. Shell, which supplies around 3% of the world’s energy, set out in 2017 a plan to halve the intensity of its greenhouse emissions by the middle of the century, based in large part on building one of the world’s biggest power businesses. Still, the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from Shell’s operations and the products it sells rose by 2.5% between 2017 and 2018. A defiant van Beurden rejected a rising chorus from climate activists and parts of the investor community to transform radically the 112-year-old Anglo-Dutch company’s traditional business model. “Despite what a lot of activists say, it is entirely legitimate to invest in oil and gas because the world demands it,” van Beurden said. “We have no choice” but to invest in long-life projects, he added. Shell plans to greenlight more than 35 new oil and gas projects by 2025, according to an investor presentation from...