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Shell Oil Company for Overcharging Californians by $779 Million!

A judge found that Shell traders used Enron-esque schemes to drive up day-to-day energy prices during the power crisis 15 years ago, resulting in Californians overpaying Shell by $779 million.

Taped telephone conversations caught traders asking each other whether they had ethical problems with rolling blackouts. “I don’t know how honest that is, but we’re not in the honesty game, are we?” Another replies, “We’re in optimizing. It’s not a question of honesty. ... It’s a question of optimization.”

                                 

The Cost of Climate Deception

Think way back... back to go-go boots and fallout shelters and bell bottoms and lava lamps... That's how long ago #ExxonKnew about the risks of climate change. What is the word for feeling really angry but also not surprised even a little?
                                 
State attorneys general have begun issuing subpoenas in the ExxonMobil investigation - including one to The Competitive Enterprise Institute, a think tank with fossil fuels ties. We bet a whole bunch of sketchy characters are getting nervous right about now.
                                 
Exxon, for its part, is fighting a subpoena seeking its internal documents on climate change, arguing that the order violates the company’s first amendment right.  
                                 
California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) joins 31 other investors that are demanding Exxon and Chevron disclose the financial risks of climate change.
                                 
Is Big Oil really out-lobbying climate advocates? Here's the breakdown: Exxon, Shell, WSPA, API and APPEA collectively spend $115 million a year lobbying against climate policies - outspending the groups supporting climate policy 23 fold.
                                                              
representative from Koch Industries, Inc., aka funding machine for climate denial, said CEO Charles Koch believes that man-made climate change is occurring.
                                 

Methane, Methane Everywhere


Porter Ranch residents (and the climate) are still suffering from the massive methane leak, but the fun isn’t over yet! Depleted reserves from the leak will likely lead to blackouts this summer maybe as many as 14. Don’t you just love that kind of energy security?!
                                 
The Porter Ranch leak went on for SO LONG it's easy to have missed some twists and turns. The good people at Think Progress made an awesome timeline in this article about how, for the residents of Porter Ranch, the nightmare isn't over yet.
                                 
On that note, the company responsible for the Porter Ranch leak, Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), is really hoping we’re finally over the whole ‘leak’ issue. That’s because it’s ready to resume operations this summer.
                                 
One for the, "are you kidding me??" files: Porter Ranch has a new gas leak. In the words of a Save Porter Ranch supporter: "It’s more obvious than ever that Aliso Canyon is dangerous and needs to be completely shut down immediately, regardless of the operators in that field. Whether it is SoCal Gas, Crimson or Termo, these wells are old, decaying and this will continue to happen again and again, poisoning thousands in the nearby communities."
                                 
Don’t just blame cow farts for the fact that the US’s total methane emissions this year are higher than predicted, coming in at 721.5 million metric tons. The biggest culprit is the oil and gas sector, responsible for a third of the country’s total methane emissions.
                                 

Big Oil “Oopsies”


Why do we hate pipelines again? Well, there are actually a ton of answers to that question. But one reason: they leak. And when they leak, they leak big. Like in South Dakota, where the TransCanada Keystone Pipeline leaked 16,800 gallons of oil into a field earlier this month.

                                  

Crazy Train


Why don't the people of Benicia want Valero's oil-by-rail project approved? They say it’s because they care about public health, safety, property values, and the environment. Weird, huh?

                                  

None of Big Oil’s doomsday predictions about AB32 came true, says this op-ed from the Greenlining Institute. Instead, California’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund has supported access to public transportation, clean vehicles, reliable transit, and helped families lower their energy bills. On top of that, a new report shows that low-carbon policies, including AB 32, will save Californians $8 to $18 billion on fuel in the next 5 years.
                    
Clean energy is a huge economic opportunity, valued in the trillions. It may just be the new tech.
                    
END OF AN ERA: Peabody files for bankruptcy, cites an “unprecedented industry downturn.” We call it the great energy transition. Though stockholders may feel the fall, some executives likely aren’t, such as CEO Greg Boyce, who cashed in $26 million in stock before the price collapse that began in 2011. Anyone checked what Exxon execs are doing with their stock options?
                    
If the Earth continues to warm at the current rate, the economy could suffer big time. A new study finds that 1.8 percent of the planet's financial assets could be wiped out by the end of the century – and that’s on the nice end of the estimates. Worst-case scenarios lead to 16.9 percent of assets lost. Seems like a pretty good reason to act.
                    
Climate change isn’t just a change in temperature. It’s a humanitarian crisis. So let's do something about it. For the people.
                    
A recent survey confirms what we've seen before: people who are older or Republican are likely to favor the view that if climate change is happening (at all), it is due to unspecified “natural” causes. This TriplePundit article wonders: If one indeed believes that climate change is natural, should that not be far scarier than if it were human-caused?
                    
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