Before you do anything else, see this, because despite the fact that it is focused from a global perspective, it is extremely useful…

FOSSIL FUELS

FOSSIL FUELS

Fossil fuels (oil, coal, and natural gas) are non-renewable sources of energy formed in the earth over the past 550 million years, typically from the remains of marine microorganisms and plants. Sealed off from oxygen and put under ever-increasing amounts of heat and pressure, this organic matter undergoes a thermal breakdown process that ultimately converts it to hydrocarbons.

When fossil fuels are burned, they release pollutants which contribute to global warming and acid rain.

The United States gets 80% of its total energy from fossil fuels. They heat our homes, run our vehicles, power industry and manufacturing, and provide us with electricity. Eventually, the degree to which we depend on fossil fuels will have to decline as they are non-renewable resources, as the difficulty and cost of tapping remaining reserves increase, and as the effect of their continued use on our planet grows more critical 

In 1950, nearly equal amounts of U.S. residential energy came from petroleum, coal, natural gas, and wood, and relatively little came from electricity (5%). In 2018, the U.S. residential sector consumed natural gas (43%) and electricity (42%) in nearly equal shares. Similarly, the U.S. commercial sector’s 2018 energy consumption was also mostly natural gas (38%) and electricity (50%).

CURRENT NEWS

KEY RESOURCES

Is Natural Gas A Fossil Fuel? Here’s What to Know

02/18/22
Is natural gas a fossil fuel? The answer to this question is a bit complicated. Natural gas is, in fact, a fossil fuel, but it is not the same type of fossil fuel as coal…

Committed emissions from existing energy infrastructure jeopardize 1.5 °C climate target

10/06/20
Net anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) must approach zero by mid-century (2050) in order to stabilize the global mean temperature at the level targeted by international efforts.

Greenhouse gas emissions results modelling from 26 countries

10/01/20
This working paper models 26 countries and finds national average emission reductions of 6 per cent from the removal of fossil fuel subsidies.

Assessing ExxonMobil’s climate change communications (1977–2014)

10/01/20
This paper assesses whether ExxonMobil Corporation has in the past misled the general public about climate change.

Revealed: the 20 firms behind a third of all carbon emissions

08/20/20
New data shows how fossil fuel companies have driven climate crisis despite industry knowing dangers

It’s time to rein in the fossil fuel giants before their greed chokes the planet

08/20/20
We’ve long known that the big fossil fuel companies are responsible for a huge share of the world’s carbon emissions. Now the Climate Accountability Institute is publishing new data quantifying how much each of these…

Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth

02/19/20
With her trademark black humor, Maddow takes us on a switchback journey around the globe, revealing the greed and incompetence of Big Oil and Gas along the way, and drawing a surprising conclusion about why…

The future is now: How oil and gas companies can decarbonize

01/01/20
As the pressure to act on climate change builds, the industry should consider a range of options.

20 Fossil Fuel Companies Are Responsible for a Third of Carbon Emissions

10/09/19
New research has shown that just 20 fossil fuel companies have allowed their relentless greed to ignore decades of warnings about what their practices were doing...

Exxon’s Own Research Confirmed Fossil Fuels’ Role in Global Warming Decades Ago

09/16/15
Top executives were warned of possible catastrophe from greenhouse effect, then led efforts to block solutions

MORE NEWS

Truck makers tout an electric future. Privately, they’re stalling it.

By Anna Phillips  Photo: Craig Hudson/Bloomberg News   10/18/22  
Diesel trucks are some of the biggest health and climate offenders on the road. The industry isn’t racing to change that.

Biden to announce release of more petroleum from strategic reserve

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.  Photo: Bing Guan/Bloomberg News   10/18/22  
The administration faces big political pressures, but it has been criticized for leaning heavily on the reserve as gas prices have largely stabilized.

Will the biggest fossil fuel states sabotage Biden’s climate package?

By Capital & Main  Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images   10/10/22  
Hailed by President Biden as “the most aggressive action ever to combat the climate crisis,” the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) commits $369 billion to clean energy and greenhouse gas reduction. But the IRA’s progress towards…

How Will OPEC’s Oil Production Cuts Affect Gas Prices and Inflation?

By David Mchugh   10/07/22  
Major oil-producing countries led by Saudi Arabia and Russia have decided to slash the amount of oil they deliver to the global economy. And the law of supply and demand suggests that can only mean…

As gas prices rise, Democrats scramble to lay blame on Big Oil

By Evan Halper  By Justin Sullivan, Getty Images   10/04/22  
As prices at the pump trend up nationwide, the Biden administration is scrambling to shelter Democrats from consumer frustration, laying blame on oil company opportunism and threatening new restrictions on the industry.

Huge expansion of oil pipelines endangering climate, says report

By Damian Carrington  Photo: David Goldman/AP   09/27/22  
More than 24,000km of new oil pipelines are under development around the world, a distance equivalent to almost twice the Earth’s diameter, a report has revealed. The projects, led by the US, Russia, China and…

Oil and Gas Assets at Risk

Dr. Zeke Hausfather and Others   09/11/22  
When shockwaves ripple across global oil and gas markets, local communities in oil- and gas-producing regions of the United States feel pronounced economic repercussions. While Russia’s war in Ukraine is currently stimulating public interest in…

US Supreme Court’s Gorsuch allows enforcement of $155 million award against Sunoco

By Nate Raymond   09/08/22  
US Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch on Thursday rejected Sunoco LP’s request to block efforts to enforce a $155 million judgment against the fuel retailer in a lawsuit accusing it of failing to pay interest…

Federal judge finds Enbridge trespassed on Bad River lands, but stops short of shutting down Line 5

By Danielle Kaeding  Photo: Danielle Kaeding, WPR   09/08/22  
A federal judge has ruled Canadian energy firm Enbridge Inc. trespassed on Bad River tribal lands and profited at the tribe’s expense but stopped short of shutting down an oil and gas pipeline across the…

$14 million air pollution fine for Exxon’s Baytown refinery stands

By Clark Mindock  Photo: REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi   08/30/22  
ExxonMobil Corp must pay a $14.25 million fine over air pollution at its Baytown, Texas crude oil refinery, a federal appeals court affirmed Tuesday. It is the largest penalty ever assessed in a citizen enforcement…

Chinatown sees flood of new business after rough sailing during Covid

By Jeff Jeffrey   08/19/22  
The area of southwest Houston that is home to the second-largest Indochinese population in the United States was devastated by the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing economic hardships left in its wake. But things…

Court strikes down ruling that blocked Biden’s oil drilling pause

By Dino Grandoni and Others  Photo: Tim Rue, Bloomberg News   08/17/22  
A federal appellate judge struck down a lower court’s decision that had stopped the Biden administration from pausing the auction of oil and gas drilling rights in federal lands and water, a key campaign pledge…

These Groups Want Disruptive Climate Protests. Oil Heirs Are Funding Them.

By Cara Buckley  Photo: Jonathan Brady, Associated Press   08/11/22  
They’ve taken hammers to gas pumps and glued themselves to museum masterpieces and busy roadways. They’ve chained themselves to banks, rushed onto a Grand Prix racetrack and tethered themselves to goal posts as tens of…

Gas prices are falling — Here’s why it’s happening and whether it can continue

By Pippa Stevens  Photo: Brandon Bell, Getty Images   08/11/22  
Gas prices are below $4 for the first time since March, but the market remains precarious and experts said it’s too early to know if the move lower will hold. The national average for a…

A Pipeline Giant Pleads ‘No Contest’ to Environmental Crimes in Pennsylvania After Homeowners Complained of Tainted Water

By Jon Hurdle  Photo: Robert Nickelsberg, Getty Images   08/10/22  
Lora Snyder never had a problem with the water that supplies her house from a private well until an Energy Transfer subsidiary, Sunoco Pipeline, started in 2018 to drill a tunnel about 1,000 feet away…

Manchin’s Donors Include Pipeline Giants That Win in His Climate Deal

By Hiroko Tabuchi  Photo: Melissa Golden, The New York Times   08/07/22  
After years of spirited opposition from environmental activists, the Mountain Valley Pipeline — a 304-mile gas pipeline cutting through the Appalachian Mountains — was behind schedule, over budget and beset with lawsuits. As recently as…

U.S. Ships More Gas to Europe Than Russia Sends by Pipeline

By Joe Wallace  Photo: David Hecker, Getty Images   08/03/22  
One measure of how fast the war in Ukraine has redrawn the energy map: The U.S. is sending more gas to Europe by ship than Russia is by pipeline, according to data firm ICIS. Pipelines…

Federal government suspends new drilling and fracking leases on public lands in Central California

By Tony Briscoe  Photo: Brian Van Der Brug, Los Angeles Times   08/01/22  
California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta announced Monday that the state has reached a settlement with the federal government to halt new oil and gas leases on public lands in Central California until the potential risks…

Fossil fuels

By Gustaw Szarek   08/01/22  
The combustion of fossil fuels produces 83 percent of global CO₂ emissions. In a net-zero transition, they would be eliminated through a shift in the energy mix. By 2050, oil production would be 55 percent…

Shell reports record profit, again, with $11.5 billion in latest quarter.

By Stanley Reed   07/28/22  
Shell reported record earnings for the second consecutive quarter on Thursday, as the energy giant continues to prosper from high oil and gas prices spurred by the war in Ukraine and other factors.

Biggest Gasoline Pipeline in the U.S. Reports Spill, a Year After Notorious Cyberattack

By Molly Taft  Photo: Chris Carlson   07/13/22  
There’s more trouble with the Colonial Pipeline: The nation’s largest gasoline pipeline reported a spill in Tennessee in early July, adding onto more than a year of public problems with the company, from a catastrophic…

Biden administration holding its first onshore oil sales

By Matthew Brown  Photo: AP Photo/Matthew Brown   06/29/22  
The U.S. government this week is holding its first onshore oil and natural gas drilling lease auctions since President Joe Biden took office after a federal court blocked the administration’s attempt to suspend such sales…

Biden’s Inner Circle Debates Future of Offshore Drilling

By Lisa Friedman  Photo: Pete Marovich   06/24/22  
President Biden’s top aides are weighing whether to ban new oil and gas drilling off America’s coasts, a move that would elate climate activists but could leave the administration vulnerable to Republican accusations that it…

Five-Year Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program: Status and Issues in Brief

By Laura B. Comay   06/23/22  
Five-Year Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Program: Status and Issues in Brief Congressional Research Service 1 nder the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), as amended,1 the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) within the…

Clean energy investment lags as oil and gas prices soar.

By Patricia Cohen  Photo: Yves Herman/Reuters   06/22/22  
The head of the International Energy Agency said high prices for fossil fuels would probably persist for years.

The Wrong People Are Making Our Energy Decisions

By David Blackmon  Photo: Getty Images   06/16/22  
This has been a week when a rift seemed to develop among global political leaders regarding the “incredible” energy transition agenda. It’s a rift that once again shows us that political elites who don’t have…

Now Is Biden’s Chance to Address the Source of Nearly 1/4 of All U.S. Carbon Emissions

By Earthjustice and Evergreen Action  Photo: David Mcnew / Getty Images   06/15/22  
President Biden can use his legal authority to transition the U.S. away from oil, gas, and coal by aligning the federal leasing program with his climate and environmental justice commitments...

Fossil fuel leasing program undercuts Biden’s climate goals, report says

By Maxine Joselow  Photo: Matthew Brown/AP   06/15/22  
The federal fossil fuel leasing program is at odds with President Biden's commitments to tackling climate change and environmental injustices, according to a report shared exclusively with The Climate 202 before its public release...

Why gas prices are so high

By Ella Koeze and Clifford Krauss  Graph: Energy Information Administration   06/14/22  
Gas prices in the United States are at record highs. And even when adjusting for inflation, they are on average at levels rarely seen in the last 50 years, including during the energy crisis of…

House Democrats probe PR industry’s role in advertising for Big Oil

By Maxine Joselow and Others  Photo: Andrew Harnik , Reuters   06/13/22  
Good morning and welcome to The Climate 202! Today we're worried about a shortage of Sriracha because of extreme droughts in Mexico, where the hot-sauce company sources its chile peppers. One could say it's a…

Oil and gas companies underreported methane leaks, new study shows

By Steven Mufson  Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar , Bloomberg News   06/08/22  
Big oil and gas companies have internal data showing that their methane emissions in the vast Permian Basin “are likely significantly higher than official data” reported to the Environmental Protection Agency, says a new report…

Once eager to drill, oil companies exit leases in Arctic refuge

By Steven Mufson and Others   06/02/22  
The exits make it far less likely that drilling will take place soon in a vast, unspoiled landscape that has achieved iconic status among environmentalists and has been fought over for half a century. An…

E.P.A., Reversing Trump, Will Restore States’ Power to Block Pipelines

By Lisa Friedman  Photo: Tim Gruber , The New York Times   06/02/22  
The Biden administration on Thursday will move to restore authority to states and tribes to veto gas pipelines, coal terminals and other energy projects if they would pollute local rivers and streams, reversing a Trump-era…

How President Biden Can Align the Federal Fossil Fuel Program to Deliver on Climate and Put People Over Profits

By Mattea Mrkusic, Lena Moffitt and Others   06/01/22  
This report will focus on one of the dirtiest uses of America’s federal public lands and waters: fossil fuel development. The U.S. federal government sells leases to private companies which allow them to extract oil,…

Europe’s Russian Oil Ban Could Overhaul Global Energy Market

By Clifford Krauss  Photo: An Rong Xu , The New York Times   06/01/22  
The European Union’s embargo on most Russian oil imports could deliver a fresh jolt to the world economy, propelling a realignment of global energy trading that leaves Russia economically weaker, gives China and India bargaining…

Bills in blue states target the fossil fuel industry for climate damage

Analysis by Maxine Joselow  Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg News   05/31/22  
Democratic lawmakers in two of the nation's most populous states are pushing legislation to punish the fossil fuel industry for its apparent role in causing droughts, wildfires and other disasters exacerbated by climate change.

Climate pressure from employees, shareholders rattles Big Oil

By Steven Mufson  Photo: Alastair Grant , AP   05/27/22  
Five years ago, Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden sat down for an interview with The Washington Post and said “we believe that climate change is real. We believe that the threat of climate change…

Vanguard refuses to end new fossil fuel investments

By Chris Flood   05/26/22  
Chief executive Tim Buckley said the group, which manages $8.1tn for more than 30mn investors and is the largest investor in coal companies globally, was determined to safeguard its clients from climate risks but this…

Investors reject climate proposals targeting ExxonMobil, Chevron

By Maxine Joselow  Photo: Richard Drew/AP   05/26/22  
Nearly two-thirds of investors in ExxonMobil and Chevron on Wednesday rejected proposals for the oil giants to align their climate strategies with the Paris agreement.

Big Fossil’s disaster capitalist response to Russia-Ukraine

By Amy Westervelt  Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images   05/25/22  
The industry moved quickly to capture the narrative, going from disinformation blitz to policy wins within a matter of weeks.

A feud over fossil fuel money

By Manuela Andreoni   05/24/22  
At Stanford University, the question is ringing loud. This month, hundreds of students, faculty members and alumni, in an open letter, called on the university’s new climate school to decline funding from fossil fuel companies.

Climate lawsuits poised for new Supreme Court fight

By Lesley Clark  Photo: AP Photo   05/18/22  
Climate liability lawsuits from state and local governments against fossil fuel companies are creeping closer to a new Supreme Court showdown.

Pollution caused 1 in 6 deaths globally for five years, study says

By Kasha Patel  Photo: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg News   05/17/22  
In 2015, 1 in 6 deaths worldwide stemmed from poor air quality, unsafe water and toxic chemical pollution. That deadly toll — 9 million people each year — has continued unabated through 2019, killing more…

Why do we swallow what big oil and the green movement tell us?

By Thomas L. Friedman  Photo: Michael Hanschke/Reuters   05/17/22  
It has long been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. By that definition, we’re the ones detached from reality if we…

Big Oil investors reject calls for stricter climate goals — so far

By Maxine Joselow  Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images   05/13/22  
Investors in three of the world's largest oil and gas companies this week rejected proposals for the firms to set stronger climate targets, as fossil fuel firms reap record profits following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Biden pulls 3 offshore oil lease sales, curbing new drilling this year

By Anna Phillips  Photo: Eric Gay , AP   05/12/22  
The Interior Department confirmed Wednesday that it will not hold three oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Alaska that had been scheduled to take place, taking…

Oil Giants Sell Dirty Wells to Buyers With Looser Climate Goals, Study Finds

By Hiroku Tabuchi  Photo: Sunday Alamba , Associated Press   05/10/22  
When Royal Dutch Shell sold off its stake in the Umuechem oil field in Nigeria last year, it was, on paper, a step forward for the company’s climate ambitions: Shell could clean up its holdings,…

Europe’s quest to replace Russian gas faces plenty of hurdles

By Clifford Krauss  Photo: Jessica Lutz for The New York Times   05/06/22  
Russia’s natural-gas supplies have become a tool of leverage in its conflict with Europe over the Russian invasion of Ukraine. And the stakes are high for Europe, which relies on Russia for 40 percent of…

Energy Department announces oil buyback to replenish SPR

By Ben Lefebvre   05/05/22  
The actual purchases would be for deliveries after fiscal year 2023, in “future years when prices are anticipated to be significantly lower than they are today, and will represent a first tranche of purchases to…

European Union takes a leap with a Russian oil embargo

By Matina Stevis-Gridneff  Photo: Nikolay Doychinov/Agence France-Presse   05/04/22  
The ban, once seen as unlikely, is a significant tightening of the squeeze on Russia’s economy, and a financial blow to Europe, too.