Just 90 companies caused two-thirds of man-made global warming emissions

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 8.52.39 AMBy Suzanne Goldenberg | November 20, 2013

The climate crisis of the 21st century has been caused largely by just 90 companies, which between them produced nearly two-thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions generated since the dawning of the industrial age, new research suggests.

Scientific Review Finds Fatal Flaws with Oil Industry Study of AB32

An independent panel of scientific experts today reaffirmed that an oil industry association’s study of California’s landmark clean energy law (AB32), in particular the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, was flawed on a number of fronts, saying it did not “include a full accounting of the economic impacts, or the health and welfare impacts of the legislation on the broader population and economy of the state,” such as “positive effects on the health and welfare of the citizens of California that could result from the implementation of AB32.”

Big Oil Prefers to Crush Renewables Rather Than Invest in Them

For awhile it looked like the oil giants were seriously diversifying into renewable energy, but that’s coming to an end.

BP dropped its long-standing solar and wind divisions, Shell focuses on how wind energy can assist fossil fuel extraction, and Exxon and Chevron have pulled back from biofuels.

Obama budget would end oil industry tax breaks, hike royalites

In unveiling his $3.8 trillion spending plan for the U.S. government on Wednesday, President Barack Obama revived his longstanding attack on oil industry tax breaks and formally launched a plan to pay for alternative vehicle research with drilling dollars.

While the tax plans are dead on arrival on Capitol Hill — where lawmakers have rejected similar proposals many times before — they drew outrage from oil and gas industry leaders who said Obama was seeking to use the sector as a piggy bank.

Remember, Oil Companies Are Spilling Toxic Stuff Literally Every Day

At this point, we can only assume that Exxon Mobil is tring its hand at a slapstick comedy routine: just as it was scrambling to clean up the Arkansas town it just dumped oil all over, it slipped and spilled a bunch of hazardous chemicals in Louisiana. Reporters could neither confirm nor deny the presence of an ensuing sad trombone sound.

Finding California Oil Pipelines Near Your Home Not So Easy

As word comes in of the third oil pipeline break this week, this one from a Shell Oil pipeline in Texas, Californians may be wondering whether the same could happen here. Frightening news has unfolded since last Friday of the tarsands oil spill from Exxon’s Pegasus pipeline through Mayflower Arkansas, that spill happening mere days after a train derailment spilled 30,000 gallons of tarsands oil in Minnesota. On average, according to federal agencies, 3.5 million gallons of oil spills from aging pipelines each year.

Southern California air regulators adopt fracking rules

In the absence of statewide regulations for hydraulic fracturing, Southern California air-quality officials have enacted their own reporting rules for the controversial extraction process driving the country’s oil and gas boom.

On Friday, the governing board of the South Coast Air Quality Management District adopted a rulethat requires oil companies to notify the air agency 10 days to 24 hours before beginning drilling operations, including “fracking,” which involves injecting large volumes of chemical-laced water and sand deep into the ground to break apart rock and release oil.

Cheap natural gas helps Chevron leapfrog Shell in value

Chevron Corp, after years of living in the shadow of Exxon Mobil Corp, has grown accustomed to having to punch above its weight, and it has now landed a notable blow against another big oil company.

Though it ranks fourth in oil and gas reserves among the world’s non-government-controlled producers, the California major recently seized the number two spot from Royal Dutch Shell Plc in terms of stock market valuation.

Can we shift to renewable energy? Yes. As to how …

We will need fossil fuels like oil and gas for the foreseeable future. So there’s really little choice (sigh). We have to press ahead with fracking for natural gas. We must approve the Keystone XL pipeline to get Canadian oil.

This mantra, repeated on TV ads and in political debates, is punctuated with a tinge of inevitability and regret. But, increasingly, scientific research and the experience of other countries should prompt us to ask: To what extent will we really “need” fossil fuel in the years to come? To what extent is it a choice?

It’s official: Traffic pollution can cause asthma in children

Researchers in Europe have confirmed scientifically what parents in traffic-congested Southern California have known anecdotally for years: Poor air quality associated with busy roads can cause asthma in children.

The study, which examined children’s health in 10 cities, concluded that 14% of chronic childhood asthma cases could be attributed to near-road traffic pollution. It is the first time that medical researchers have made such a direct link — previous studies stopped at saying that traffic pollution is known to trigger asthma, not cause it.