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

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

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…

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 to the world, as The Guardian reported. Their exploitation…

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

Forget net zero – let’s have a ‘fossil freedom day’

By Mark Lynas  Photo: Guardian/AFP/Getty Images   10/14/21  
The important thing about any agenda isn’t so much what’s on it, but what is missing. And so it is with the 21st UN climate change conference (Cop26), in Glasgow. There are some crucial issues…

ExxonMobil to Build its First Large-Scale Plastic Waste Advanced Recycling Facility

By Emily Holbrook  Photo: Pixabay   10/11/21  
ExxonMobil plans to build its first, large-scale plastic waste advanced recycling facility in Baytown, Texas, and is expected to start operations by year-end 2022. By recycling plastic waste back into raw materials that can be…

Chevron Plans to Reduce Emissions, Invest Billions in Low-Carbon Goals

By David Worford  Photo: Chevron   10/11/21  
Chevron plans to reduce its carbon emissions intensity by 5% and invest up to $8 billion in low-carbon efforts by 2028. The company released a report detailing its net zero aspirations, which it hopes to…

Mapping California’s Oil Spill: Aging Pipes Line the Coast

By Blacki Migliozzi and Hiroko Tabuchi   10/05/21  
Ever since a pipeline failure caused at least 126,000 gallons of oil to spill into the Pacific Ocean, threatening a fragile coastal ecosystem and forcing some of Southern California’s most popular beaches to close, officials…

After Hurricane Ida, Oil Infrastructure Springs Dozens of Leaks

By Blacki Migliozzi and Hiroko Tabuchi   09/26/21  
When Hurricane Ida barreled into the Louisiana coast with near 150 mile-per-hour winds on Aug. 30, it left a trail of destruction. The storm also triggered the most oil spills detected from space after a…
CNN

Lawmakers launch investigation into climate crisis disinformation by fossil fuel industry

By Ella Nilsen   09/16/21  
The House Oversight and Reform Committee announced Thursday it is launching an investigation into fossil fuel industry disinformation on the climate crisis. The committee invited the heads of six oil companies and major lobbying groups…
NPR

To Avoid Extreme Disasters, Most Fossil Fuels Should Stay Underground, Scientists Say

By Lauren Sommer  Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images   09/09/21  
With tens of thousands of people displaced by floods, wildfires and hurricanes this summer, researchers warn that the majority of untapped fossil fuels must remain in the ground to avoid even more extreme weather.

Fossil Fuel Leaks, Spills, Flaring & Chemical Releases After Hurricane Ida May Be Worst Ever Recorded

09/08/21  
Oil and gas investigative journalist Antonia Juhasz says the extent of damage done after Hurricane Ida from the fossil fuel and petrochemical industry from leaks, spills, flaring, ruptures and chemical releases in the Gulf Coast…

Worrying About Your Carbon Footprint Is Exactly What Big Oil Wants You to Do

By Auden Schendler   08/31/21  
Everybody’s going carbon neutral these days, from the big boys — Amazon, Microsoft, Unilever, Starbucks, JetBlue — to your favorite outdoor brand, even ski resorts. Probably your neighborhood coffee roaster, too.

Big Oil Coined ‘Carbon Footprints’ to Blame Us for Their Greed. Keep Them on the Hook.

By Rebecca Solnit  Photo: Yasin Akgul/AFP (Getty Images)   08/27/21  
Personal virtue is an eternally seductive goal in progressive movements, and the climate movement is no exception. People pop up all the time to boast of their domestic arrangements or chastise others for what they…

Newsletter: Meet the law firms helping fossil fuel companies heat the planet

By Sammy Roth  Photo: Richard Drew , Associated Press   08/19/21  
Two of the local residents hired by Method Campaign Services said the job was advertised as an “environmental fellowship.” One said she was led to believe she’d be “standing up for sustainability.”

Analysis: Benchmark of Big Oil on methane emissions shows ‘significant gap’ between reality and reporting

By Terry Slavin   08/14/21  
Tackling methane emissions, a greenhouse gas 84 times more potent than CO2 in the short term, should be low-hanging fruit for oil and gas producers: something they can do cost-effectively, and with far greater climate…

Amid Extreme Weather, a Shift Among Republicans on Climate Change

By Coral Davenport and Lisa Friedman  Photo: T.J. Kirkpatrick   08/13/21  
After a decade of disputing the existence of climate change, many leading Republicans are shifting their posture amid deadly heat waves, devastating drought and ferocious wildfires that have bludgeoned their districts and unnerved their constituents…

How Green Are Electric Vehicles?

By Hiroko Tabuchi and Brad Plumer   08/06/21  
Around the world, governments and automakers are promoting electric vehicles as a key technology to curb oil use and fight climate change. General Motors has said it aims to stop selling new gasoline-powered cars and…

Washington state county is first in US to ban new fossil fuel infrastructure

By Oliver Milman  Photo: Kevin Schafer/Getty Images   07/28/21  
A county in Washington state has become the first such jurisdiction in the US to ban new fossil fuel infrastructure, following a lengthy battle over the impact of oil refineries on the local community. In…

Fossil Fuels Can Be Replaced – and Must Be

By Mitchell Bernard  Photo: AP Photo/Valentin Bianchi   07/22/21  
Across Oregon and Washington state this summer, some 200 people have died amid wave after wave of blistering heat. Nearly half the spawning salmon in the Columbia River are dying in waters too warm for…

AOC slams lawmakers controlled by ‘fossil fuel execs’ in response to New York subway floods

By Gino Spocchia   07/09/21  
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has called out GOP colleagues in Congress for blocking her Green New Deal amid flooding in New York and New Jersey. Torrential rain brought by storm Elsa on Thursday flooded New York City’s…

Capping methane-spewing oil wells, one hole at a time

By Nick Ehli  Photo: Adrián Sanchez-Gonzalez   07/01/21  
The stench bellows from the 1,500-foot hole in the ground, the remains of a well long ago abandoned by a bankrupt oil company. Despite the well’s rotten-egg smell, the real culprit is methane, and every…

United Airlines aims to suck carbon dioxide from the friendly skies

By Steven Mufson   06/25/21  
United Airlines is investing in a venture that doesn’t make airplanes, transport passengers or ring up frequent-flier miles on the company’s credit cards. And even as it posts losses stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, United is providing…

New research finds 1M deaths in 2017 attributable to fossil fuel combustion

By Brandie Jefferson   06/14/21  
An interdisciplinary group of researchers from across the globe has comprehensively examined the sources and health effects of air pollution — not just on a global scale, but also individually for more than 200 countries.

The International Energy Agency Issues a Landmark Statement About Fossil Fuels

By Bill McKibben  Photo: Erin Scott , Reuters   05/18/21  
The crucial turning points of the climate era can be found in a series of sentences, some of them pretty opaque, but all of them critical. The latest came on Tuesday morning in a report…

Biden Wants To Take On The Fossil-Fuel Industry. Dozens Of His Officials Are Invested In It

By Michela Tindera   05/11/21  
On the campaign trail, Joe Biden tried to distance himself from oil, gas and coal companies, pledging not to accept money from fossil-fuel firms. Dozens of those now serving in his administration, however, were less rigid about separating themselves from energy…

The true cost of fossil fuel subsidies

By Emily Atkin  Photo by Mandel Ngyan   04/06/21  
Last week, President Joe Biden unveiled The American Jobs Plan: a $2 trillion jobs and infrastructure plan that, if signed into law, would double as one of the largest federal efforts ever to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

The producer benefits of implicit fossil fuel subsidies in the United States

By Matthew J. Kotchen   04/06/21  
There are real and substantial financial implications to fossil fuel producers of policies that seek to correct market failures brought about by climate change, adverse health effects from local pollution, and inefficient transportation. The producer…

Fossil Fuel Companies Took Billions in U.S. Coronavirus Relief Funds but Still Cut Nearly 60,000 Jobs

By Nicholas Kusnetz  Photo by David McNew   04/02/21  
When Congress looked to prop up a tanking economy and stanch its hemorrhaging of employment as the pandemic spread last year, the oil industry was among those that sought relief.

The island where it rained oil

By Juliet Eilperin, Darryl Fears and Salwan Georges   03/25/21  
Two hours after midnight in this island paradise, a cloudy vapor rose from a massive oil refinery and floated over nearby homes as quietly as a ghost. The fine mist of oil and water from…

Ad Agencies Step Away From Oil and Gas in Echo of Cigarette Exodus

By Tiffany Hsu   03/25/21  
It’s night. A little boy opens the door to his father’s room. “Dad, I’m scared,” he says. The father carries the boy back to his bed, tucks him in and clicks on a night light.…

U.S. drillers, miners would be out billions if paid climate, health costs: study

By Reuters Staff   03/23/21  
U.S. coal, natural gas and motor fuel producers get implicit benefits worth tens of billion of dollars a year by not having to pay for the damage their products do to the climate and human…

Oil firms knew decades ago fossil fuels posed grave health risks, files reveal

By Oliver Milman  Photo: Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images   03/18/21  
Exclusive: documents seen by Guardian show companies fought clean-air rules despite being aware of harm caused by air pollution

Why Are Fossil Fuel Pipelines Bad for Our Climate and Communities?

03/05/21  
Over 2.6 million miles of oil and gas pipelines crisscross the country. Drawn on a map, they resemble the intricate cracks of a broken pane of glass, building on each other with increasing complexity as…

Orphaned Wells a Billion Dollar Mess

By Peter Sinclair   03/04/21  
Jill Morrison has seen how the bust of oil and gas production can permanently scar a landscape. Near her land in north-east Wyoming’s Powder River Basin, where drilling started in 1889, more than 2,000 abandoned…

Fracking Banned in the Delaware River Basin

Marisa Guerrero Kimberly Ong   02/25/21  
In an historic move, the Delaware River Basin Commission—the body responsible for safeguarding  the water quality of the Delaware River Basin—voted to outlaw fracking in the region. Four of the five Commissioners, including the governors…

Insurance Industry Pulling Plug on Fossil Fuels

By Peter Sinclair   02/01/21  
Nothing happens in the Economy without insurance. Could the insurance industry be a driver of climate action? More on this in upcoming Yale Climate Connections vid, stay tuned.

As Biden vows monumental action on climate change, a fight with the fossil fuel industry has only begun

By Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis  Photo by Stacy Kranitz   01/28/21  
Joe Biden had long promised to become the climate president, and on Wednesday he detailed far-ranging plans to shift the U.S. away from fossil fuels, create millions of jobs in renewable energy, and conserve vast…

Biden Hits ‘Pause’ On Oil And Gas Leasing On Public Lands And Waters

By Nathan Rott, Scott Detrew and Alana Wise  Photo: Callaghan O'Hare , Bloomberg   01/27/21  
In an effort to slow the nation's contribution to climate change, President Biden has signed an executive order to begin halting oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters.
AP

Biden to pause oil and gas sales on public lands

By Matthew Daly   01/27/21  
President Joe Biden is set to announce a wide-ranging moratorium on new oil and gas leasing on U.S. lands, as his administration moves quickly to reverse Trump administration policies on energy and the environment and…

Biden’s Pause On New Oil And Gas Leasing ‘Will Not Significantly Impact’ The Industry

By Alexander C. Kaufman and Chris D’Angelo  Photo by Leah Millis   01/26/21  
The executive order, part of a suite of climate actions, could set the stage for bigger policies down the road.

The Climate Crisis

By Bill McKibben  Photo by David Paul Morris   01/22/21  
A couple of weeks ago, I said that the first principle of fighting the climate crisis was simple: stop lighting coal, oil, gas, and trees on fire, as soon as possible. Today, I offer a…

Oil and gas lobby cedes to Biden in supporting regulation of methane

By Josh Siegel   01/21/21  
The American Petroleum Institute said Thursday that it supports the direct federal regulation of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from new and existing oil and gas operations.

Investors flee Big Oil as portfolios get drilled

By Karin Kirk   01/14/21  
While climate advocates have long had science on their side, Big Oil has relied on leveraging its financial might and political clout to cast doubt on the practicality of moving the global economy away from…

United Airlines aims to suck carbon dioxide from the friendly skies

By Steven Mufson   01/12/21  
United Airlines is investing in a venture that doesn’t make airplanes, transport passengers or ring up frequent-flier miles on the company’s credit cards. And even as it posts losses stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, United is providing…

‘A Slap in the Face’: The Pandemic Disrupts Young Oil Careers

By Clifford Krauss  Photo: Brandon Thibodeaux, NYTimes   01/03/21  
Sabrina Burns, a senior at the University of Texas at Austin, had thought she would be launching a lucrative career in the oil and gas industry when she graduated in a few months.  But the…

The Top Energy Stories Of 2020

by Robert Rapier  Illustration: Digital Montage   12/27/20  
Some years there is an energy story so big that there’s no question it belongs at the top of the list. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011. …

The Ocean Floor Is Spewing Methane Due to Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells

By Hannah Seo  Photo by Stefan Sauer   12/21/20  
Out on the deck of a research boat, Tara Yacovitch looked out to the water. In the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, the seascape is peppered with lights. And every light is part of…

Fossil fuels are bridge to a carbon-free world

By LaVarr Webb   10/23/20  
Pres. Trump and Joe Biden clashed vigorously over climate change and fossil fuels in the presidential debate Thursday evening. Trump defended the oil and gas industries, while Biden said he would phase out fossil fuels.…

Exxon Spends Millions on Facebook To Keep the Fossil Fuel Industry Alive

By Christine MacDonald  Photo: David McNew/Getty Images   10/20/20  
Aided by a right-wing political consulting firm, the company is rallying supporters to fight for oil and gas interests at every level of government.

A Secret Recording Reveals Oil Executives’ Private Views on Climate Change

By Hiroko Tabuchi  Photo: Jessica Lutz for The New York Times   09/12/20  
Last summer, oil and gas-industry groups were lobbying to overturn federal rules on leaks of natural gas, a major contributor to climate change. Their message: The companies had emissions under control.

Big Oil shrinks during coronavirus pandemic

By Dino Grandoni   09/08/20  
ExxonMobil and a half dozen or so of the world’s largest oil companies — so-called Big Oil — just aren’t that big anymore.

Big Oil Is in Trouble. Its Plan: Flood Africa With Plastic.

By Hiroko Tabuchi, Michael Corkery and Carlos Mureithi  Photo: Khadija M. Farah for The New York Times   08/30/20  
Confronting a climate crisis that threatens the fossil fuel industry, oil companies are racing to make more plastic. But they face two problems: Many markets are already awash with plastic, and few countries are willing…

EPA Weakens Methane Rule as Pollution Soars

By Jeremy Deaton   08/20/20  
The agency announced its revised policy Friday, which will allow firms to avoid finding and plugging methane leaks. EPA chief Andrew Wheeler said the rule change will help smaller oil and gas companies that have…