A landmark report released by ExxonMobil Corp. in March 2014 indicated that activist shareholders had struck a nerve in the debate over carbon asset liabilities. It’s no longer just environmental activists who are challenging energy companies on their future production plans. Environmentally focused investment houses are flexing their significant muscle on an unprecedented scale, and refocusing part of the climate change debate on financial risk.
BISMARCK, N.D.— North Dakota's Heritage Center makes for a jarring sight in this Midwestern prairie capital. The newly-expanded museum consists of four interlocking cubes of stone, steel and glass, a gleaming architectural statement poking out of the otherwise drab Capitol grounds. Each cube features a gallery devoted to an era of North Dakota’s history, but the state’s present is everywhere.
In a move that could rival the climate impacts of the Alberta tar sands and Keystone XL pipeline, and would release far more atmospheric carbon than that saved by the new EPA power plant and vehicle rules, the Obama administration just initiated its 2017-2022 process to expand oil and gas drilling on the nation's outer continental shelf (OCS) - including the Arctic, Pacific, Atlantic, and Gulf of Mexico. The initial public comment period on the plan closes July 31, 2014.
In another huge win for the divestment movement the World Council of Churches (WCC), consisting of over 300 churches and representing half a billion Christians worldwide, has decided to pull its investments out of fossil fuels.
The umbrella group, which includes churches from across 150 countries, including the Church of England by not the Catholic Church, has agreed to phase out its own holdings in coal, oil and gas and encourage its members to do the same.
Police arrested Portland Rising Tide (PRT) activist Irene Majorie on June 30 for locking herself to a 55 gallon barrel filled with concrete that was placed on the railroad track leading to the ArcLogistics crude oil terminal in Northwest Portland. Majorie was arraigned at the Justice Center on July 1 and charged with third degree criminal mischief and second degree trespass. She entered a plea of not guilty.
No mention of Keystone XL. Not a word about oil sands from Canada.
Exactly a year after President Barack Obama’s dire warning that global warming would “condemn ... future generations to a planet that’s beyond fixing” unless greenhouse-gas emissions from burning fossil fuels were cut drastically, the White House issued a progress report. It didn’t even mention the controversial plan to funnel carbon-heavy Alberta oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries – a plan which has dominated the climate-change debate in the United States.
A Comment published today in the journal Nature calls for a moratorium on new oil sands projects in Alberta, Canada due to flaws in how oil sands decisions are made. The authors are a multidisciplinary group of economists, policy researchers, ecologists, and decision scientists.