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...]

Study finds shift to ‘dark money’ in climate denial effort

US Capitol at night

The largest, most-consistent money fueling the climate denial movement are a number of well-funded conservative foundations built with so-called "dark money," or concealed donations, according to an analysis released Friday afternoon. The study, by Drexel University environmental sociologist Robert Brulle, is the first academic effort to probe the organizational underpinnings and funding behind … [Read more...]

Could fracking finally kill off rural America?

US fracking map

Gasland 2, the sequel to Josh Fox's documentary about the dangers of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, introduces a frightening image. It's not another money shot of tap water on fire, though the water well hose lit up by the owner of a multimillion dollar home in Parker County, Texas is a wonder. Nor is the most frightening image an internal gas industry memo labeling residents of small … [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 -- 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...]

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...]

Jilted by another smooth-talking oilman

Parody Chevron ad "We Lie Because You Can't Handle the Truth"

Every time I'm tempted to stop worrying and love oil companies, they do something to set me straight again. A few weeks ago, when I watched the documentary Houston We Have a Problem, I wanted to hug the Texas oil guys who said that the world was running out of oil and that the economy needed to find another source of energy. Or even start to conserve. Then, there was a heartwarming online … [Read more...]

Rapture deferred: Now, where’s John Galt when we need him?


No surprise, Ye of Little Faith, grumpy radio prophet Harold Camping's rapture didn't work out as scheduled this weekend. But maybe there's another hope for all of us garden-variety sinners to rid ourselves of people who are self-righteous, nutty or just dangerously ambitious. Who is John Galt? In honor of the terrible movie version that just came out of Ayn Rand's terrible book Atlas Shrugged, … [Read more...]

Top 5 myths about subsidies to oil companies

Tar Sands Banner at Calgary Tower

Can the president who killed Osama bin Laden now stand up to Big Oil? Encouraged by comments made by House Speaker John Boehner that subsidies for oil and gas companies should be on the table, Democrats led by Montana Sen. Max Baucus last week revived their stalled effort to cut billions per year in taxpayer handouts to the largest oil companies. No surprise, Big Oil is not going gently into … [Read more...]

More reasons to hate the Koch brothers

Soros vs the Koch brothers scorecard

Poor Exxon. They used to be the oil company that everybody loved to hate. This spawn of the Standard Oil breakup had it all: Obscene profits, the Exxon Valdez, a mean CEO who sneered at clean energy, blatant funding for climate deniers. But now, the new ExxonMobil is just not that special anymore. It turns out that all the big oil companies are buying elections, paying front-groups to spread … [Read more...]