While free-market environmentalists push cap-and-trade systems as a panacea for climate change worries, many in the environmental justice community have yet to buy into it. Their reasons for this vary, but one major concern is that there’s little guarantee that overburdened communities won’t still catch the brunt of industrial pollution. What stops billionaire companies like ExxonMobil from continuing to pollute poor communities if, rather than rein in their emissions under the established cap, they can simply purchase more permits to pollute?
Despite ranking among the most profitable corporations in the world, Big Oil benefits from $4 billion in annual tax breaks. It fights to maintain them through aggressive political donations, lobbying, and heavy ad spending, but also employs another tactic: Pretending these tax breaks don’t exist.
California, we have a fuel problem.
Over the past two years, California gas prices have continued to soar, sparking some of the highest prices in the nation.
Oil companies are quick to point the finger at supply and demand, oil markets or the state’s clean air laws as causes for recent spikes, but don’t be fooled. These reasons merely serve as smokescreens to a much larger problem facing consumers at the pump – potential price manipulation.
However, for those concerned about gasoline following the oil price spike over the past few days, there’s possible relief in sight.
Chevron Corp. (CVX) helped write the first-in-the-nation rule ordering reduced carbon emissions from cars and trucks. Its biofuels chief spoke at the ceremony where California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the executive order in 2007, the same year the oil company pledged to develop a gasoline replacement from wood.
Now Chevron is leading a lobbying and public relations campaign to undercut the California mandate aimed at curbing global warming, two years after the state started phasing it in. Research on commercially viable climate-friendly products has come to naught, stymied by the poor economics of coaxing hydrocarbons from plants’ stubborn cell walls, according to Chevron officials.
Think you are being ripped off at the gas pump?
One California lawmaker wants to give the public a place to contact with complaints of price manipulation or other shenanigans.
Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) has proposed creation of an Office of Fuel Price Investigation and Manipulation Prevention at the California Energy Commission.
Leno said the new office would develop anti-fuel price manipulation standards, investigate potential incidents of illegal activity and recommend ways to reduce the volatility of gas prices in California, which last year saw some stations charge $5 per gallon.
If you’re like most people, you probably think about your food budget at least a little bit. Most likely, you try to find the best value at the grocery store, perhaps by clipping coupons or sticking to on-sale items, and limiting dining out or choosing restaurants carefully. After all, if you dined out every night at a $100-a-person restaurant you may discover very quickly that you’re going broke just trying to “fuel” yourself with food.
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.
President Barack Obama’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2014 would eliminate $39 billion of special tax breaks for Big Oil companies over the next decade as part of comprehensive business tax reform. These companies earned billions of dollars in recent years due to high oil and gasoline prices and do not need additional support from taxpayers. These tax breaksemerged over the past 100 years to help the then-nascent industry develop, and they relieved the oil and gas industry of $466 billion in tax payments to the federal treasury between 1918 through 2009, according to DBL Investors. Now that the oil and gas industry is fully developed and mature, President Obama’s budget would end this century of largesse.
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.
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: