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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 already does work with GE’s oil business and oil giants like Royal Dutch Shell and BP.

Those hoping the tech giants would help lead the world into a carbon-free future based on their climate-friendly press releases and renewable energy purchases, will need to look elsewhere for true climate action leadership.