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Exxon (totally) Knew

ExxonMobil continues to be pummeled in the wake of the realization that the company allegedly knew of climate change risks to the public – and then spent decades fueling climate change denial.
  • We noticed reporters having trouble getting a straight answer from Exxon to the simple question: Does Exxon fund groups that deny climate science? We rounded up some of the answers in this short video:
  • More than 350,000 people have signed a petition urging U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch calling for a federal probe of ExxonMobil
  • Documents also reveal that Exxon made deep cuts to its climate research budget in the 1980s,  ushering in a five-year hiatus in peer-reviewed publication by its scientists and the era when the company first embraced disinformation, according to InsideClimate News.
  • The morality pros at Exxon have gone on the offensive, hurling ethics accusations against a team of Columbia University journalists whose reporting helped uncover the scandal, reports Politico.
  • Is Big Oil the new Big Tobacco? We think so. Bloomberg discusses the reputational risks Big Oil is facing.

Frack watch

  • Big Oil got really excited about an EPA report that claimed fracking had minimal impacts on drinking-water resources. But an independent group of scientists, called The Science Advisory Board, is now challenging the EPA report, finding the claims are based on limited data reflecting many uncertainties. 
  • A major 4.7 earthquake shook Oklahoma last week - one of the biggest they’ve felt. Oklahoma is now the most seismically active state in the nation - a title it earned after a huge uptick in fracking, which state officials link to the 800 quakes this year to date. One of the seven earthquakes from Monday alone was felt in Iowa – 300 miles away.
  • There's been a disturbing trend over the last two years: energy companies are telling us LESS about the chemicals used in fracking. According to the journal Energy Policy, energy companies reporting their hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the FracFocus website have become less forthcoming, increasingly citing the use of proprietary compounds to limit disclosure. Seems like the people might like to know what those compounds are, since it's essential in determining fracking’s public health impacts and all....

Fossil Fuels “oopsies”

  • Update: a Southern California Gas Co. leak in the San Fernando Valley has been going steady for several weeks. The company now warns it might take several more months before it can be fixed. In the meantime, the leak has released a quantity of methane equivalent to driving 160K cars for a year. It’s also been the source of hundreds of health complaints from local residents.
  • When Big Oil messes up and spills something they shouldn’t (a frequent occurrence), they’re required to report it. But records show that in March, E&B Natural Resources discovered a leak and decided not to tell. Because of the delay, it’s been a 7-month-long wait to determine whether or not  groundwater has been contaminated. Great work, Big Oil.
How does the oil industry keep California over a barrel? This cartoon breaks it down PERFECTLY.


Latinos and Big Oil 

Big Oil is one of the planet’s richest industries. When they tell you supporting clean energy is bad for business, they likely mean clean energy is bad for their business. This op-ed sums up Big Oil misinformation perfectly: "If you want to learn about the health impacts of smoking, you don’t rely on a tobacco industry web site. And if you want to learn about the oil industry’s impact on California, you don’t rely on a web site sponsored by an oil company."


Big Oil, Big Profits: Chevron, Tesoro, and Valero all tripled their average profits from refining oil in California during the 3rd quarter of 2015. What else was happening during those months? Oh right, gas prices per barrel were low, but Californians were paying some of the highest prices in the country at the pump.
A new report highlights the connection between corporate funding and messages doubting climate change science. Twenty years of data suggests corporations have used their wealth to give the impression of greater scientific uncertainty than actually exists.
L.A. motorists are paying 75 cents more than the U.S. average for a gallon of gas, reports LAT. We’re ready to get off this price roller coaster.
Not only is 2015 is on track to be the warmest year on record, the World Meteorological Organisation also reports 2011-2015 is the warmest 5-year period ever recorded. And it’s due to climate change, plain and simple.
COP21: The multilateral climate talks are underway in Paris this week, and they’re kind of a BFD. What do they mean? This video sums it up perfectly.
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Corrections from newsletter dated November 20, 2015
  • Correction: We stated that an “oil field worker” was killed after hitting a natural gas line. The deceased was an employee of Big N Deep Agricultural Development, not an oil company.
  • Correction: We stated that the Goleta Union School District might lose money due cleanup costs associated with the Santa Barbara Oil Spill. The article quoted indicates the impact to the school district would be due to lost tax revenues from the company responsible for the spill shutting down seven offshore oil production platforms.
  • Clarification: we stated that every Fracking well requires an average of 5-10 million gallons of clean water & poisons the water used forever.
    • Fracking wells use different amounts of water depending on the rock formation, the operator, whether the well is vertical or horizontal, and the number of portions (or stages) of the well that are fractured. Examples of average reported water usage can be found on at US Geological Survey’s site. The Bakken Formation in North Dakota, for example, uses 1.5 million gallons, while Horn River Shale in Canada uses 15.8 million gallons. In California a hydraulic fracturing operation can consume between 130,000 to 210,000 gallons of water per well on average. In 2014, California used 70 million gallons of water in fracking in 2014, according to Reuters.
    • While it is technically possible to clean fracking wastewater, most of the water used or produced in oil and gas operations is injected into disposal wells, where it is lost forever. What’s more, some question whether the water can ever be cleaned. In fact, the EPA is considering banning fracking waste to sewage treatment plants due to the contamination. 
Stop Fooling CA is committed to bringing you accurate and quality information about the oil industry. We welcome comments, suggestions, and clarifications. So please feel free to let us know if we get anything wrong!
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