Why, nine years later, Keystone XL’s fate is still in limbo

pipeline

It’s nine years and counting since the Keystone pipeline was first proposed and TransCanada is still waiting for presidential approval to build the line. An environmental assessment report from the US State Department that landed in January would seem to move TransCanada’s hopes forward, but the pipeline’s ultimate fate is still very much in limbo. The State Department concluded that the … [Read more...]

Big oil companies find it harder to turn a buck

gas station on a red sky

Judging by pump prices, drivers might think oil companies were rolling in profits that only move higher. Lately, though, the big boys in the global oil industry are finding that earning a buck isn’t as easy as it used to be. Royal Dutch Shell, for instance, just announced that fourth quarter earnings would fall woefully short of expectations. The Anglo-Dutch energy giant warned its quarterly … [Read more...]

Sandy’s real name

boat washed up on a street

The following letter from climate activist Bill McKibben was sent out today by 350.org. -- Ed. Dear friends, We woke up this morning with a deep sense of sadness. Hurricane Sandy has brought serious hardship to many of the people we love and places we treasure. Large parts of the Northeast are underwater, millions are still without power, and tens of thousands have been evacuated from their … [Read more...]

Stop the frack attack

frack attack

A rush to drill is sweeping the United States.  Across the country, the oil and gas industry is surging into new areas as quickly and cheaply as possible. And they have been using techniques like hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) long before we fully understand the extent of the negative impacts on the health of the local people, communities, water, air, climate, and other critical … [Read more...]

Deepwater what?

peak oil chart

How soon we forget. Today marks the second anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. But don't expect to hear much about it. The largest environmental disaster ever in American history, the BP oil spill dumped nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and its consequences continue to reverberate in the area. But unless you're a Louisiana shrimper or a … [Read more...]

Peak oil gets pepper sprayed

Peak oil curve with Hubbert and pepper spray cop

How many Saudi Arabias did you say that was? It's hard to keep up these days with claims by oil and gas drillers about how many Saudi Arabia-sized reserves of tar sands oil/shale oil/deepwater oil/hydrofracked gas that North America is now allegedly able to access due to the smarts of petroleum geologists and the tenacity of oilmen. "Because of better technology, notably breakthroughs in … [Read more...]

Get ready for the next Big Lie from Big Oil

Did you think it was just an accident that conservatives seem so good at singing from the same hymnal on the issue du jour, whether it's privatizing social security, blaming the Dodd-Frank bill for Bank of America's (now cancelled) $5 debit card fee or defending Hermann Cain from sexual harassment charges? Well, it's not an accident. Whether it's El Rushbo, John Boehner or Michele Bachmann, … [Read more...]

Top 5 ways to Occupy Big Oil

big oil profits first quarter of 2011

Wall Street is the best immediate target for a huge protest movement, since it was the freewheeling gambling of big banks that pushed the economy over the edge in 2008 and started the Great Recession. Now, as Occupy movements pop up around the US and across the globe to draw attention to economic inequity and the government corruption that abets rule by the top 1%, Occupiers should not forget … [Read more...]

How I learned to start worrying and hate the tar sands pipeline

Bill McKibben arrested at White House

I'm their target audience. I already care about climate change. And I don't like Big Oil. Yet, it took Bill McKibben and more than 150 other activists getting arrested at the White House for me to finally care about the tar sands pipeline. Before that, I had five reasons to leave this particular issue to somebody else: Pipelines are boring. With the Environmental Protection Agency reporting … [Read more...]

Houston, we have a solution

Houston We Have a Problem film poster

"It can be difficult to distinguish between bullshit and wisdom when oil men are talking. That's because, as Houston We Have a Problem makes clear, they're full of both," writes reviewer Cindy Widner. I couldn't have encapsulated better myself the essence of Houston We Have a Problem: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Cheap Energy. As Widner puts it: If the film boasts a high concentration of … [Read more...]