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

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.
NPR

The U.S. may soon export more gas to the EU, complicating climate goals

By Halle Parker   05/04/22  
To help wean Europe off Russian gas, the Biden administration wants to increase U.S. natural gas exports. But critics say that's at odds with the president's climate and environmental justice goals.

Mountain Valley Pipeline, a litmus test for big projects, is delayed again

By Anya Litvak  Photo: Heather Rousseau , AP   05/04/22  
Equitrans Midstream Corp. has again delayed the start date for its 303-mile Mountain Valley Pipeline and raised its estimated cost to $6.6 billion, more than twice the original estimate.

How the oil and gas industry is trying to hold US public schools hostage

By Leanna First-Arai  Composite: Getty Images   05/04/22  
The oil and gas industry wants to play a word-and-picture association game with you. Think of four images: a brightly colored backpack stuffed with pencils, a smiling teacher with a tablet tucked under her arm,…

California Attorney General Investigates the Oil and Gas Industry’s Role in Plastic Pollution, Subpoenas Exxon

By James Bruggers   04/30/22  
The oil and gas industry has a new battle to fight with California Attorney General Rob Bonta’s first-of-its-kind investigation into their role in the global plastics crisis—and it looks a lot like one they’ve been…

Oil Companies Report Huge Profits Amid Sky-High Gas Prices

By Lauren Leffer  Photo: Ben Margot , AP   04/29/22  
Today, ExxonMobil and Chevron released their earnings summaries for the first three months of 2022. And, surprise, while people in the U.S. were paying some of the highest-ever average prices at the pump, the oil…

Biden’s urgent moves on gas prices collide with lofty climate goals

By Matt Viser and Anna Phillips  Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP   04/20/22  
The president took office determined to shift the nation’s course on climate change. That legacy could be threatened by the political urgency to cut gas prices.

California Oil and Gas Industry Leans on Political Heavyweights to Drill Wells

By Aaron Cantu  Photo: Jerry Moorman   04/19/22  
The California Geologic Energy Management Division so far has approved 89 in March and April, compared to 67 the first two months of the year and 35 the last three months of 2021 (most in…

New details on big oil’s campaign to defeat climate action

By Jane McMullen and Patrice Taddonio   04/19/22  
It was the 1990s, and scientific understanding of how burning fossil fuels would change the Earth’s climate was mounting. So, too, was a chorus of voices telling a different story.

Interior Department to resume oil and gas leasing, charge higher fees

By Anna Phillips  Photo: Eli Hartman/AP   04/15/22  
As pressure increases on the Biden administration to lower the price of fuel, the Interior Department announced on Friday plans to hold its first onshore oil and gas lease sales since President Biden took office.

Opinion: We’re in a fossil fuel war. Biden should say so.

By Farhad Manjoo  Photo: Jessica Lutz for The New York Times   03/24/22  
On one hand, it would seem uncontroversial to point out that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a war enabled and exacerbated by the world’s insatiable appetite for fossil fuels. It couldn’t not be so: Russia…

Exxon cannot argue political motives as defense in climate suit – Mass. judge

By Nate Raymond  Photo: Lee Celano , Reuters   03/23/22  
A Massachusetts judge on Tuesday barred Exxon Mobil Corp from arguing improper, political motives were behind the state's attorney general suing the oil company for allegedly misleading consumers and investors about its role in climate…

Shell directors sued for ‘failing to prepare company for net zero’

By Damien Gayle  Photo: Mario Tama , Getty Images   03/21/22  
In what is thought to be a first-of-its-kind action, the lawsuit brought by activist shareholders claims that Shell’s 13 directors are personally liable for failing to devise a strategy in line with the Paris Agreement,…

Nations Should Conserve Fuel as Global Energy Crisis Looms, Agency Warns

By Catrin Einhorn and Lisa Friedman  Photo: Patrick T. Fallon , Getty Images   03/18/22  
The war in Ukraine is setting into motion the first global energy crisis of its kind, and nations around the world should respond by reducing their use of oil and gas, the leader of a…

Oil and Gas Industry Heavily Outspends Clean Energy and Environmental Groups on Lobbying in California

By Josh Slowiczek   03/17/22  
Oil and gas interests spent four times as much as environmental advocacy groups and almost six times as much as clean energy firms on lobbying efforts in California between 2018 and 2021, according to a…

Sarah Bloom Raskin withdraws her nomination to the Fed Board

By Jane Mayer  Illustration: Nicholas Konrad / The New Yorker   03/15/22  
Biden’s nominee had publicly encouraged measures to mitigate climate change, including a transition to cleaner energy, which triggered a backlash from America’s powerful oil, gas, and coal industries.

Manchin won’t support Raskin for the Fed, imperiling her nomination.

By Emily Cochrane and Jeanna Smialek  Photo: Ken Cedeno/Pool photo   03/14/22  
Senator Joe Manchin III, a key centrist Democrat, announced on Monday that he would not support Sarah Bloom Raskin for a top position on the Federal Reserve, potentially dooming her chances for confirmation as Republicans…

As War Rages, a Struggle to Balance Energy Crunch and Climate Crisis

By Brad Plumer , Lisa Friedman and David Gelles  Photo: Yevgeny Sofiychuk/Getty Images   03/10/22  
As the world reels from spikes in oil and gas prices, the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has laid bare a dilemma: Nations remain extraordinarily dependent on fossil fuels and are struggling to shore…

Whatever His Motives, Putin’s War in Ukraine Is Fueled by Oil and Gas

By Marianne Lavelle  Photo: Stringer , Getty Images   03/06/22  
With a Russian military convoy advancing on her city of Kyiv, Ukraine’s leading climate scientist made an emotional plea at last week’s meeting of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

A Ukrainian Climate Scientist is Uniquely Positioned to Explain the Real Threat to the Global Order

By Ciara Nugent  Photo: Alexander Reka , Getty Images   03/01/22  
Svitlana Krakovska, a Ukrainian meteorologist, was wary of speaking her mind. On Sunday, sitting next to her sons’ bunk beds in her Kyiv home, she joined a Zoom meeting of the International Governmental Panel on…

Climate fears on back burner as fuel costs soar and Russia crisis deepens

By Patricia Cohen  Photo: Alexey Malgavko/Reuters   02/23/22  
Energy security has gained prominence while the conflict in Ukraine raises concerns over the possible interruption in the supply of oil and natural gas.

Biden Administration Halts New Drilling in Legal Fight Over Climate Costs

By Lisa Friedman  Photo: Chris Carmichael , The New York Times   02/20/22  
The Biden administration is indefinitely freezing decisions about new federal oil and gas drilling as part of a legal brawl with Republican-led states that could significantly impact President Biden’s plans to tackle climate change.

The U.S. is now energy independent

By Neil Irwin   02/19/22  
For decades, politicians have talked about the U.S. achieving energy independence, a seemingly elusive goal of producing enough fuels to avoid relying on the rest of the world to fill up gas tanks and keep…
NPR

Major oil companies aren’t following through on climate change promises

By Mary Louise Kelly   02/18/22  
NPR's Mary Louise Kelly talks with Gregory Trencher, a co-author of a report that shows, despite pledges, BP, Chevron, Exxon Mobil and Shell aren't making changes needed to transition to clean energy.

Divesting works: Study finds ditching fossil stocks lowers corporate footprints

By Rick Spence   02/09/22  
For the leaders of the divestment movement, which encourages institutional investors to sell off their shares in fossil fuel companies, winning isn’t everything. Eroding public support for the sector has been considered valuable work in…

How Spiking Energy Prices Complicate the Fight Against Global Warming

By Brad Plumer  Photo: Loic Venance , Getty Images   02/02/22  
While world leaders have vowed to scale back the use of fossil fuels to help keep a lid on global warming, a drastic upheaval in the markets for oil, natural gas and coal could complicate…
EIA

EIA expects U.S. fossil fuel production to reach new highs in 2023

01/21/22  
After declining in 2020, the combined production of U.S. fossil fuels (including natural gas, crude oil, and coal) increased by 2% in 2021 to 77.14 quadrillion British thermal units. Based on forecasts in our latest…

The American Petroleum Institute wants a greener future, as long as it has more oil and gas

By Eve Andrews  Photo: Jacquelyn Martin/AP   01/13/22  
Once again, the American Petroleum Institute is attempting to paint itself as a climate savior – and not doing it very convincingly.

Fossil fuel firms among biggest spenders on Google ads that look like search results

By Niamh McIntyre   01/05/22  
Fossil fuel companies and firms that work closely with them are among the biggest spenders on ads designed to look like Google search results, in what campaigners say is an example of “endemic greenwashing”.

Exxon Mobil aims for net-zero emissions from its operations in the Permian Basin by 2030

By Clifford Krauss  Photo: Angus Mordant/Reuters   12/06/21  
Exxon Mobil said on Monday that it aimed to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions from its operations in oil and gas fields in West Texas and New Mexico by 2030. The announcement is part of…

Science report: US should make less plastic to save oceans

By Seth Borenstein  Photo: AP Photo/Caleb Jones, File   12/01/21  
America needs to rethink and reduce the way it generates plastics because so much of the material is littering the oceans and other waters, the National Academy of Sciences says in a new report.

If You Fund the Research, You Can Shape the World

By Amy Westervelt  Photo: Hy Peskin , Getty Images   12/01/21  
Much has been made, and rightly so, of the Koch network’s impact on universities. Entire campus projects exist to ferret out Koch cash, which is powering everything from the Regulatory Studies Center at George Washington…

Oil and gas companies should pay more to drill on public lands and waters, Interior Department says

By Sarah Kaplan  Photo: David Zalubowski/AP   11/26/21  
The document calls for increasing the government’s royalty rate — the 12.5 percent of profits fossil fuel developers must pay to the federal government in exchange for drilling on public lands — to be more…

Interior Dept. Report on Drilling Is Mostly Silent on Climate Change

By Coral Davenport and Lisa Friedman  Photo: Steve Nesius , Reuters   11/26/21  
The Interior Department on Friday recommended that the federal government raise the fees that oil and gas companies pay to drill on public lands — the first increase in those rent and royalty rates since…

Oil companies talk about low-carbon projects. How much do they spend on them?

By Jon Greenberg  Photo: AP   11/08/21  
Streaming into a hearing days before Halloween, Rep. Katie Porter, D-Calif., held up a Mason jar full of blue, red, yellow and green M&Ms for a demonstration on Shell Oil’s capital spending.