Western States Petroleum Association Top Spender In 2013

Screen Shot 2014-02-11 at 4.21.26 PM By Dan Bacher | Feburary 10, 2014

The Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), the most powerful corporate lobbying organization in Sacramento, spent over $4.67 million, more than any other interest group, while lobbying state government in 2013, according to data released by the Secretary State’s Office and compiled by Capitol Weekly.

 

Big Oil treated legislators to $13,000 dinner before fracking bill vote

Screen shot 2013-11-11 at 10.12.07 AM By Dan Bacher | November 7, 2013

There’s no doubt that the Western States Petroleum Association, Chevron and other oil companies use every avenue they can to dominate environmental policy in California, including lobbying legislators, contributing heavily to election campaigns, serving on state regulatory panels, and wining and dining politicians. Until we get the big corporate money out of politics, California will continue to be awash in a sea of oil money.

Chevron CEO: cutting carbon will take a long time.

May 30, 2013

By David R. Baker

Chevron CEO John Watson had his hands full Wednesday at the oil company’s annual shareholders meeting in San Ramon.

As usual, he faced tough questioning over the company’s$19 billion pollution lawsuit in Ecuador. Some of the exchanges grew tense, and one of the speakers was ejected from the room. For a full account, check out my story here.

Opponents of fracking in California win big court victory

In a precedent-setting victory for fracking opponents, a federal judge ruled that the Obama administration violated the law when it issued oil leases in Monterey County without considering the environmental impacts of hydraulic fracturing.

U.S. Magistrate Paul Grewal of the U.S. District Court in San Jose ruled on March 31 that the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) sold the leases without properly assessing the threat that fracking could pose to water, fish and wildlife. Some of these leases are within the Salinas River watershed, habitat for endangered Central Coast steelhead.

First California Fracking Challenge Is Defeat for U.S.

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management violated an environmental law by failing to take the necessary “hard look” at the impact of hydraulic fracturing when it sold oil and gas leases inCalifornia, a federal judge said.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal in San Jose, California, said the BLM violated the National Environmental Policy Act by relying on outdated reviews, conducted before the extraction process known as fracking spurred massive development of energy deposits, when the U.S. sold four leases in 2011 for 2,700 acres of federal land in Monterey and Fresno counties.

News Corp. Outlets Fail To Disclose Big Oil Ties Of Commentators

News Corp. properties Fox News and The Wall Street Journal failed to disclose the fossil fuel industry ties of commentators who used the media outlets to advocate pro-fossil fuel industry positions.

On April 3, Fox & Friends hosted Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Myron Ebell, who accused New York Governor Andrew Cuomo of delaying a decision to allow for fossil fuel extraction via hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, to keep Republican areas of the state from becoming richer and wielding more political influence:

The next decade could be disastrous for OPEC and Big Oil

Ed Morse, Citigroup’s top energy economist, has taken a fresh swipe at companies and countries that rely on the global petroleum edifice. With a typically vivid title—“The End is Nigh”—Morse argues in a new report that permanent changes in the ways we produce and consume energy are hollowing out oil demand, with head-spinning ramifications.

The nub of the March 26 report: If the market transformation resembles that which occurred after the 1979 Iranian Revolution (which Morse regards as a possibility), global oil demand would plummet by 18%, to around 74 million barrels a day from the current 90 million. Such a plunge would trigger political and economic havoc in petroleum export-reliant Russia and OPEC. It would shake out the oil industry. And it would happen regardless of what steps the major players took.

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.

‘Greedy Lying Bastards’ Takes On Climate Deniers, Big Oil

Eco-activist Craig Rosebraugh is the first to admit he took “a sizable gamble” by titling his first film so provocatively—Greedy Lying Bastards.

The hard-hitting documentary is a sophisticated, four-years-in-the-making look at the deviousness of climate change deniers using archival footage and new interviews. It was intended to be “a bit more in your face” than most docs, Rosebraugh admits.

Life After Oil and Gas

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?