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 (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%).


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Highlight Article

Judge overturns Biden’s LNG export pause

By Niina H. Farah 07/02/24
A federal judge reversed the Department of Energy’s freeze on new liquefied natural gas export approvals Monday, handing a win to industry and red states that had challenged the Biden administration plan. Judge James Cain…
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Oil industry pushes back versus softened fleet mpg standards

By Bengt Halvorson 06/20/24
The oil industry last week launched a legal challenge versus the U.S. EPA and its latest light- and medium-duty vehicle standards set for the 2027-2032 model years. The case was filed by the American Petroleum…
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Supreme court ruling delays climate litigation big oil has sought to thwart

By Dharna Noor 06/10/24
The supreme court on Monday asked the Biden administration to weigh in on big oil’s request to thwart litigation that could put them on the hook for billions of dollars. The one-line order will delay…
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Vermont Moves to Hold Fossil-Fuel Companies Liable for Climate-Change Damage

By Elizabeth Kolbert 05/27/24
On July 10, 2023, Vermont’s state capital, Montpelier, was hit with more than five inches of rain. The city sits at the confluence of the main stream of the Winooski and its north branch; the…
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Q&A: New Legislation in Vermont Will Make Fossil Fuel Companies Liable for Climate Impacts in the State. Here’s What That Could Look Like

By Paloma Beltran 05/25/24
Vermont’s House and Senate have approved a bill that would make fossil fuel companies financially liable for their carbon pollution and its role in the climate crisis. Lawmakers pointed to consequences of these carbon emissions,…
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Democrats ask DOJ to investigate Big Oil

By Emily Atkin 05/22/24
The Democrats leading the years-long congressional investigation into Big Oil’s climate deception are formally asking the Department of Justice to step in.
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DOJ must investigate Big Oil’s “ongoing enterprise,” lawmakers say

By Emily Sanders 05/22/24
The leaders of a years-long Congressional probe into Big Oil’s decades-long climate disinformation campaigns just formally referred their investigation to the Department of Justice, calling on the nation’s biggest public law office to “pursue further…
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How Oil Companies Manipulate Journalists

By Molly Taft 05/15/24
Kill the story.” That’s what Alan Jeffers, a media relations manager at ExxonMobil, told the Houston bureau chief of Reuters in October 2016, about a year after InsideClimate News, the Los Angeles Times, and Columbia…
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New Report ‘Ringing the Alarm Bell’ for Climate Advocacy Conflict of Interest

By Joe Fassler 05/08/24
In Colorado, fossil fuel interests are vigorously opposing legislative bills meant to clean up the state’s heavily polluted air. That might seem like business as usual, but a new report reveals a more serious dynamic:…
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New internal Big Oil documents just dropped

By Emily Atkin and Arielle Samuelson 04/30/24
In 2021, Congressional Democrats subpoenaed Big Oil for internal documents detailing the industry’s role in worsening the climate crisis. Some of the documents have already been released. But today, we got some more. The internal…
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Energy Department finalizes rule to phase out fossil fuels in federal buildings

By Nish Amarnath 04/29/24
In a push for net-zero emissions from federal facilities by 2045, the new rule mandates a 90% reduction in on-site fossil fuel use by 2029 and complete elimination after 2030.
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Biden Administration Raises Costs to Drill and Mine on Public Lands

By Coral Davenport 04/12/24
The Biden administration on Friday made it more expensive for fossil fuel companies to pull oil, gas and coal from public lands, raising royalty rates for the first time in 100 years in a bid…
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Causes and Effects of Climate Change

Fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – are by far the largest contributor to global climate change, accounting for over 75 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and nearly 90 per cent of…

Products Made From Oil And Natural Gas

When you think about oil, there is probably one thing that immediately comes to mind: motor oil for your car or lawn mower. And, when you hear about natural gas, you may think about heating…

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

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…

What’s the Deal With This Whole Strategic Petroleum Reserve, Anyway?

The news that President Joe Biden is releasing millions of barrels of oil from a federal stockpile raises a question. Well, a few actually. Namely, wait, what the hell? We have a huge stockpile of…

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

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

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)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Big Heat and Big Oil

By Bill McKibben   07/16/23  
In the list of ill-timed corporate announcements, historians may someday give pride of place to one made by Wael Sawan, the new C.E.O. of Shell, the largest energy company in Europe. In 2021, Shell said…
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Mea Culpas Are Great, But Climate Leaders Need to Model Real Accountability

By Amy Westervelt   07/14/23  
This week, Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from 2010-2016, key architect of the Paris Agreement, and longtime supporter of the idea that fossil fuel companies…
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Fossil fuel workers are dying inhaling gases – despite US warnings to big oil

By Sara Sneath   07/13/23  
After multiple worker fatalities, the US government warned manual gauging was dangerous. The oil industry seems to have not taken note, activists say...
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Court Halts Section of Construction on Mountain Valley Pipeline

A federal appeals court has ordered a halt to construction of a section of the Mountain Valley Pipeline that runs through the Jefferson National Forest, as it reviews a challenge by environmental groups. Last month’s…
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How Biden’s environmental justice dilemma is playing out in Port Arthur

By James Osborne   07/09/23  
John Beard spent almost 40 years working in the refineries and petrochemical plants that surround his home in Port Arthur. But after an accident at the Valero refinery in Port Arthur in 2007 released large…
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Oil giant Shell warns cutting production ‘dangerous’

By Simon Jack   07/07/23  
Cutting oil and gas production would be "dangerous and irresponsible", the boss of energy giant Shell has told the BBC. Wael Sawan insisted that the world still "desperately needs oil and gas" as moves to…
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‘Double agents’: fossil-fuel lobbyists work for US groups trying to fight climate crisis

By Oliver Milman   07/05/23  
More than 1,500 lobbyists in the US are working on behalf of fossil-fuel companies while at the same time representing hundreds of liberal-run cities, universities, technology companies and environmental groups that say they are tackling…
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So what if fossil fuel lobbyists have to declare themselves at Cop28? That won’t curb their power| Amy Westervelt

By Amy Westervelt   06/28/23  
Earlier this month, the UN announced it will require fossil fuel lobbyists to identify themselves as such when registering for the Cop28 climate summit. The move was applauded by campaigners and politicians alike, but it’s…
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Enabling Fossil Fuel Addiction: It’s About More Than Money

A new climate case was filed this week. Multnomah County, the Oregon county that includes Portland, filed suit against several oil majors for their role in exacerbating the climate change that led to the county's…
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Oregon County Sues Fossil Fuel Companies Over 2021 Heat Dome

By David Gelles   06/22/23  
The Oregon county that includes Portland on Thursday filed a lawsuit against several fossil fuel companies and their business partners in an effort to hold them responsible for a deadly heat wave in 2021.
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Peak Oil Demand Is Coming Soon for Transportation

By Tom Randall   06/13/23  
For more than a century, two trends in global transportation have been relentless: humanity’s desire for more cars and the consumption of ever-more oil to fuel them. The second part, at least, may finally be…
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Oil Lobby Pushed Pollution Loophole for Wildfire Smoke

By Rebecca Burns   06/09/23  
Climate change is intensifying toxic wildfires, but Big Oil has pushed to exempt the resulting pollution from federal air quality standards.
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US Interior boosts investment in plugging orphaned oil, gas wells on public lands

By Jasmin Melvin   06/08/23  
The Biden administration is stepping up efforts to advance environmental justice through the cleanup of toxic, legacy pollution sites, announcing a near doubling of investment this fiscal year to $64 million to plug, remediate and…
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Does oil and gas production consume too much water?

By Jennifer Oldham   06/06/23  
A multiwell oil and gas project proposed for a drought-ridden Denver suburb would require 4.4 trillion gallons of water — enough to fill 6,679 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
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Supreme Court won’t review ruling barring offshore fracking in California

By Zack Budryk   06/05/23  
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined a request by the oil industry to review a lower court ruling barring fracking off California’s shore. In 2014, the Environmental Defense Center (EDC) sued to halt offshore…
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It’s Payback Time

By Mark Schapiro   06/01/23  
Until now the fossil fuel industries have not had to account for the full costs to society of their products. Billions of dollars in climate-related expenses have been hidden inside the budgets for disaster recovery,…
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Shell agrees to pay $10 million for air pollution at massive new Pennsylvania petrochemical plant

By Michael Rubinkam   05/25/23  
Shell has agreed to pay $10 million to resolve allegations that it polluted the air around its massive new petrochemical refinery in western Pennsylvania, the administration of Gov. Josh Shapiro announced Wednesday.
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The fossil fuel industry is donating hundreds of millions to university climate and energy research

By YCC Team   05/24/23  
Fossil fuel companies profit from the world’s dependence on coal, oil, and gas. Some climate activists are concerned that some of these same companies fund university research about climate and energy. “I don’t think there…
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What Exxon Won’t Tell You About Climate Costs

By Mark Gongloff and Liam Denning   05/24/23  
Paying for restaurant meals is a cost. Taking classes to learn how to cook your own meals is an investment. Similarly, suffering through the effects of climate change is a cost, but spending money to…
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Fossil fuel firms owe climate reparations of $209bn a year, says study

By Nina Lakhani   05/19/23  
Groundbreaking analysis by One Earth is first to quantify economic burden caused by individual companies. The world’s top fossil fuel companies owe at least $209bn in annual climate reparations to compensate communities most damaged by…
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Fossil Fuel Companies Should Pay Trillions in ‘Climate Reparations,’ New Study Argues

By Nicholas Kusnetz   05/19/23  
One of the most contentious climate policy debates revolves, unsurprisingly, around money. Who should pay the monumental sums needed to protect against extreme weather and transition to clean energy, particularly because the damage has been…
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California bill would hit oil companies with $1 million penalty for health impacts

By Aaron Cantú   05/18/23  
Monic Uriarte was thrilled to get approved for an affordable apartment in Los Angeles’ University Park, close to USC. But soon after she and her family moved there in 2004, they started experiencing headaches and…
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Could Guyana’s Exxon ruling scare big oil off risky exploration?

By Amy Westervelt   05/17/23  
Ruling requiring ‘unlimited guarantee’ from oil firms to cover costs of spills could change offshore drilling throughout region
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Kerry challenges oil industry to prove its promised tech rescue for climate-wrecking emissions

By Ellen Knickmeyer   05/17/23  
Oil and gas producers talk up technological breakthroughs they say will soon allow the world to drill and burn fossil fuels without worsening global warming. U.S. climate envoy John Kerry says the time is here…
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Fossil Fuel Companies and Cement Manufacturers Could Be to Blame for a More Than a Third of West’s Wildfires

By Wyatt Myskow   05/16/23  
The climate-warming emissions from the world’s 88 largest fossil fuel companies and cement manufacturers are behind more than one third of the wildfires that have increasingly plagued Western North America in recent decades, according to…
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EPA says pollution limits proposed for U.S. coal, gas power plants reflect climate crisis ‘urgency’

By Matthew Daly   05/11/23  
The Biden administration proposed new limits Thursday on greenhouse gas emissions from coal- and gas-fired power plants, its most ambitious effort yet to roll back planet-warming pollution from the nation’s second-largest contributor to climate change.
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Oil and gas health impacts cost $77 billion per year, study finds

By Ayurella Horn-Muller   05/10/23  
Air pollution from U.S. oil and natural gas production causes roughly $77 billion in health impacts nationwide every year, while also contributing to thousands of early deaths and health flare-ups, a new study finds...
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Clarence Thomas Reversed Position After Gifts And Family Payments

By Julia Rock and Andrew Perez   05/09/23  
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas changed his position on one of America’s most significant regulatory doctrines after his wife reportedly accepted secret payments from a shadowy conservative network pushing for the change. Thomas’ shift also…
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SCOTUS Says No to Exxon, Now the Corporate Free Speech Fight Begins

On Monday this week the Supreme Court finally weighed in on whether it would take up the jurisdictional argument that oil companies are making in multiple climate liability suits. The companies have been arguing for…
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EPA plan would impose drastic cuts on power plant emissions by 2040

By Timothy Puko   04/22/23  
The Biden administration is preparing to unveil a proposal to require power plants to drastically reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions by 2040, another attempt to regulate one of the country’s biggest contributors to climate change after…
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The Great Gas Lock-In

Long before Putin invaded Ukraine, the U.S. fossil fuel industry was preparing to turn Russian aggression into a boon for the gas industry. For months leading up to the invasion, the industry was busy highlighting…
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The Real Reason Big Oil Wants Climate Cases at the Supreme Court

For more than five years now, fossil fuel companies have been arguing that the more than two dozen climate liability cases filed against them by counties, cities and states across the country belong in federal…
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Big Oil clashes with Biden in SCOTUS climate brawl

By Lesley Clark   04/06/23  
The fossil fuel industry rebuked the Biden administration on Wednesday for siding with local governments in their lawsuits against oil majors, calling the federal government's position "shot through with flaws" and driven by “a desire…
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With Russia’s Exit, Norway Becomes Europe’s Energy Champion

By Stanley Reed   04/06/23  
The new front line for Europe’s energy security is a modest office building overlooking a fjord in Stavanger, Norway. Inside, a company called Petoro oversees three dozen of the largest oil and natural gas fields…
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How Shell Is Selling the Petrochemical Buildout as ‘Sustainable’

By Emily Sanders   04/05/23  
If you take Shell’s word for it, the oil giant’s growing petrochemical operations are indicative of its “commitment” to a cleaner energy future. At new and expanding facilities, from northern Europe to Pennsylvania and Louisiana,…
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Lost Decade: How Shell Downplayed Early Warnings Over Climate Change

By Matthew Green   03/31/23  
Narrated in the upper-crust accent favoured by British documentary-makers of the era, Shell’s 1981 film Time for Energy assesses the scope for solar, wind, nuclear, and other sources of power to end the world’s dependence…
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Exxon’s Climate Opponents Were Infiltrated by Massive Hacking-for-Hire Operation

By Christopher M. Matthews   03/29/23  
In the midst of perpetrating what federal prosecutors say was a massive corporate hacking campaign, Israeli private detective Aviram Azari in 2017 received welcome news.
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Newsom signs law allowing California to penalize oil companies for ‘price gouging’

By Sharon Udasin   03/28/23  
California will soon be able to penalize oil companies that engage in “price gouging” behaviors, after Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a first-of-its-kind bill into law on Tuesday evening.
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Climate cover-up? Federal appeals court rules Minnesota’s lawsuit can proceed

By News Staff   03/24/23  
Minnesota’s lawsuit alleges ExxonMobil, American Petroleum Institute, and Koch Industries systematically deceived and defrauded Minnesotans about the true causes and costs of climate change.
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Insurer Chubb demands energy producers cut methane emissions for coverage

By Leslie Scism and Rhiannon Hoyle   03/22/23  
Global insurer Chubb Ltd. is tightening its requirements on insurance policies for oil-and- gas producers, demanding that they reduce emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
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Biden will approve Alaska oil project, alongside Arctic protections

By Maxine Joselow and Timothy Puko   03/12/23  
The administration will approve three pads for the Willow drilling project, according to people familiar with the matter. The move comes after announcing a new ban on U.S. oil and gas leasing in the Arctic…
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Judge upholds EPA anti-pollution rule against power companies’ challenge

By Elliot Mincberg   03/06/23  
Judge Michelle Childs, nominated by President Biden to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, wrote a unanimous decision that rejected a challenge by a group of power companies to EPA rules requiring…
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Investing in Oil and Gas Transition Assets En Route to Net Zero

By Gautam Jain and Luisa Palacios   03/02/23  
Achieving the goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 requires a substantial reduction in the share of high-emitting fossil fuels in primary energy consumption. A scenario from the International Energy Agency (IEA) for reaching…
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“It’s almost like a cult.” Activists shout down rural renewable energy projects

By Peter Sinclair   02/28/23  
Officials and farmers report threats and intimidation in small Midwest communities that are considering solar and wind farms.
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U.S. to hold Gulf of Mexico oil and gas auction next month

By Reuters Staff   02/25/23  
The Biden administration finalized a plan to offer drilling rights on more than 70 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico to oil and gas companies next month, it said on Friday. The auction, the…
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‘Diabolical plan’: ExxonMobil seeks to restart oil spill pipeline

By Andrew Pridgen   02/25/23  
Big oil is attempting to get the ruptured pipelines that caused the 2015 Refugio Beach oil spill on the Central Coast back up and running again. And locals, environmentalists and watchdog agencies are not happy…
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Montana Sues Portland, Oregon Over Fossil Fuel Terminal Ban

By Olivia Rosane   02/17/23  
In 2016, the Portland, Oregon, city council unanimously approved a ban on either building new fossil fuel terminals within the city or expanding existing ones. At the time, Inside Climate News reported it was likely…
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Exxon drops its algae ruse

By Emily Sanders   02/13/23  
Fat on record profits, Exxon is abandoning a notorious effort to convince the public it was working on climate solutions.
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Exxon retreats from major climate effort to make biofuels from algae

By Ben Elgin and Kevin Crowley   02/10/23  
After advertising its efforts to produce environmentally friendly fuels from algae for over a decade, Exxon Mobil Corp. is now quietly walking away from its most heavily publicized climate solution.Exxon has slashed its support for…
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Shareholders Sue Shell, Saying It’s Too Obsessed With Fossil Fuels

By Angely Mercado   02/10/23  
UK based environmental law firm ClientEarth is suing Shell’s 11-member board, saying they are failing to properly manage the business risks associated with climate change. The lawsuit, filed in England’s high court, claims that the…
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