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A huge climate win (under a pollution cloud) 

The California Legislature passed SB 350 on September 11, a landmark bill that boosts California’s clean electricity mix to 50 percent and increases energy efficiency in buildings by 50 percent. 

The victory came with a reminder, though, of the power of the oil industry. Under pressure from oil lobbyists, a provision mandating a reduction of oil use by 50 percent in the next 15 years – arguably the most important prong of the bill – was stricken in order to secure the law’s passage.
  • The bittersweet win shows the power the oil industry holds over California politics. The most powerful leaders of the state could not budge the junior members of their own party in the Assembly “who stubbornly clung to the oil industry's bogus claims about rising costs for consumers,” wrote Consumer Watchdog president Jamie Court in HuffPo.
 
                                 
  • This is a matter of equity, argued billionaire and activist Tom Steyer in the SacBee. “Sacramento’s inability to stand up to oil lobbyists is creating a state where clean air and water and basic environmental standards are only guaranteed for the wealthy, while poorer areas with larger Latino and African American populations suffer the consequences.”
 
                                 
  • The oil industry didn’t read the fine print of SB350 closely, said political strategist Steven Maviglio in Capitol Weekly. “Buried in the back pages of SB 350 is a full codification of the 2030 and 2050 climate targets that the industry thought it defeated.”
 
                                 
  • Senator Kevin de Leon and Gov. Jerry Brown haven’t given up on the fuel mandate, saying they’ll take it to the ballot, if necessary. 

Exxon Mobile understood climate change in the 1970s

– and has been denying it ever since. 


New documents reveal that in the 70s and 80s, Exxon was on the forefront of climate research. In fact, its scientists warned of the dangers of climate change – until Exxon’s leadership decided to shut down the research and promote climate denial to protect the company’s unfathomably large profits.
The reports preceded what the scientific community now sees as consensus:
  • 80% of recoverable fossil fuels should be left in the ground.
  • Atmospheric CO2 rise and temperature increases would be clearly apparent by 2010.
The scale of the deceit, surprising even to a campaign created as a reaction to the oil industry’s rampant lies, is inspiring whispers of legal action – similar to the successful prosecution of the tobacco industry for obscuring scientific findings. Some are calling for the U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to launch a RICO prosecution of Exxon and its fellow fossil-fuel companies for deliberate and malicious climate deception.
                                  

 

Frackin’ A

  • New study shows populations living close to fracking sites have a heightened risk of health complications.
                                                         
 
                                                         
 
  • The oil cartel OPEC has confirmed what has been obvious to many for months: U.S. shale production is in deep, deep trouble as the fracking boom bursts in the face of low oil prices.
Low Carbon Fuel Standard: The California Air Resources Board is considering reauthorizing the Low Carbon Fuel Standard with a vote today. Unsurprisingly, the oil industry doesn’t think people using less of its product is very “feasible.”

Refinery Watch: Exxon Mobil Corporation’s Torrance refinery ramp up may be delayed due to a “potentially deadly modified hydrofluoric (HCL) acid” release from the refinery and continuing talks with the regulatory authorities. In their defense, safety is hard. 

                    
Pipeline leaks: Californians won’t soon forget the 140K gallons of crude spilled in Santa Barbara this year. But that’s only a fraction of the oil industry’s annual spill average. In 2014, Big Oil spilled almost 2 million gallons of hazardous liquids from pipeline accidents across the US.

                    
Edelman, the world’s biggest PR firm, ends work with coal producers and climate change deniers. Why? Because high-risk clients threaten its reputation… and humanity.

                    
Welfare for the rich? Subsidies for oil, natural gas and coal industries added up to $167 billion last year. That’s right, $167 billion taxpayer dollars went to support the richest industries on the planet. And that’s a reduction from 2012.

                    
Oil by rail: Pismo Beach Mayor Shelly Higginbotham will join the list of individuals and agencies opposing the Phillips 66 Co. rail spur project

 

Big business, including Walmart, Goldman Sachs and Starbucks, are committing to moving to 100 percent renewable energy because of the risks climate change poses to the bottom line.  

Divestment is the new black: schools, state governments and celebrities are pulling their money out of oil and coal companies. The divestment movement has now reached more than $2.6 trillion in assets. 

Copyright © 2015 Stop Fooling CA, All rights reserved.


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