Saturday March 23rd… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing post will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉
Oil Companies… Saying One Thing And Doing Another
Have you ever seen movies or shows like Showtime’s “Weeds” in which front businesses were opened, like donut shops, to illegally hide the real profit maker, drugs? To a very large extent this is what oil companies are doing in the wake of the Paris Accords in 2015…investing a nominal amount of money on renewables to keep up good appearances to the public while allocating billions to find and develop new oil sources. Today I will present two separate articles showing all that short term greedy attitudes continue to reverberate around the heads of oil companies to the detriment of the climate and us all.
First here is a repost of a recent Huffington Post article:
Oil Giants Invest $110 Billion In New Fossil Fuels After Spending $1 Billion On Green PR
Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, Total and BP together have spent more than $1 billion on public relations since the Paris Agreement.
by Alexander C. Kaufman and Chris D’Angelo, HuffPost US
The world’s five largest publicly traded oil companies are increasing their investments in oil and gas, putting a combined $110 billion in new fossil-fuel production.
Meanwhile, those firms are projected to spend just $3.6 billion on low-carbon investments, such as biofuels and renewables, according to a new analysis that Influence Map, a British nonprofit that analyzes corporate influence on climate policy, derived from industry data and numbers buried in company disclosures.
The reckless disparity comes just months after the United Nations warned that the world must rapidly phase out fossil fuel use over the next decade or face catastrophic global warming of at least 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit.
Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron, BP and Total together have spent more than $1 billion on public relations promoting green energy projects and lobbying on behalf of climate policy in the past three years, after virtually every nation on Earth agreed to cut emissions under the Paris Agreement.
The totals represent “significant efforts to maintain public support on climate while holding back binding policy,” the nonprofit group said in its report, published Thursday evening.
“As the pressure of climate change and the actual physical manifestations of it become accelerated, this account of what oil majors consider to be ‘on board with climate change’ becomes disconnected from reality,” Dylan Tanner, executive director of Influence Map, said by phone. “You have an extreme lobbying disconnect, and then you have a disconnect on their branding and their role in the solutions.”
The companies’ new tune on climate change rings loud on many of the most influential English-language news outlets. The New York Times regularly runs branded content from Exxon Mobil and Shell touting the firms’ investments in algae-based fuels and other low-carbon alternatives. The Washington Post this month published an advertisement from the American Petroleum Institute, the industry’s top U.S. lobbying arm, pitching natural gas as where “the low- and no-carbon future starts.” The banners on energy and environmental policy newsletters sent by such outlets as Politico and Axios routinely feature the logos of Exxon Mobil and Koch Industries, the privately held fossil-fuel conglomerate controlled by billionaire Republican mega-donors.
The report found that the companies spent $195 million annually over the past three years promoting their role in helping to address the climate crisis. The firms doled out $965 million a year marketing other corporate sustainability initiatives. Exxon Mobil spent the most, at $56 million. Shell was a close second at $55 million. Total came in third at $52 million, followed by BP with $30 million and Chevron with $4 million.
The companies spent a combined $200 million a year lobbying on activities to influence climate change policy both directly and by funding trade associations, the report found. BP spent the most at $53 million, followed by Shell at $49 million, Exxon Mobil at $41 million, and Chevron and Total each at $29 million.
The two top American trade associations, API and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, took the firmest stances against the goals of the Paris Agreement and had the biggest lobbying budgets from the oil majors. Canadian and Australian trade groups came out somewhere in the middle. The top European trade groups took slightly friendlier stances on climate policy, in part because of stronger political pressure on the continent.
As the pressure of climate change and the actual physical manifestations of it become accelerated, this account of what oil majors consider to be ‘on board with climate change’ becomes disconnected from reality.Dylan Tanner, executive director of Influence Map
The Influence Map research is the second report to come out this month detailing the fossil fuel industry’s effort to influence the American public.
New data compiled by the nonprofit Climate Investigations Center showed energy and other corporate trade groups doled out at least $1.4 billion on these services from 2008 to 2017, as HuffPost reported this month. API accounted for nearly half that total, spending $663 million over the 10-year period.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce ― the corporate lobby that has aggressively fought regulations to address climate change ― spent $244 million, the second most. The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity came in at No. 3, spending $121.7 million.
The figures likely only scratch the surface, since trade associations are only required to report their top five contractors to the Internal Revenue Service and individual companies often pay for their own in-house advertising.
Now here is a second article sourced by Huffington Post: https://influencemap.org/report/How-Big-Oil-Continues-to-Oppose-the-Paris-Agreement-38212275958aa21196dae3b76220bddc
The trillion dollar Norwegian Oil Fund recently proposed to shift away from companies involved solely in exploration and production, allowing oil majors to dodge divestment, for now. Rather than divest, the Finance Ministry has instructed Norges Bank to engage with the oil majors to ensure they invest in renewables and accelerate the clean energy transition, but lawmakers as well as other large fund managers should study closely what oil companies are doing on climate and energy policy in practice. The InfluenceMap study is an important contribution to the serious assessment which must now take place. Remarkably, these five oil majors are forecast to put a mere 3% of their 2019 capital expenditure towards low carbon technologies whilst US$110.4 billion will be put into more oil & gas.
We have 11 years left to stop climate chaos: there can be no justification for oil companies to openly oppose regulation of its products based on emissions. We should not be thanking the Trump administration for rolling back the “avalanche of regulation” on the sector, nor opposing the transition to renewable energy and instead lobbying for expanded oil production. It is simply not the future. Jan Erik Saugestad CEO of Storebrand Asset Management
InfluenceMap’s research confirms a widely held suspicion that Big Oil’s glossy sustainability reports and shiny climate statements are all rhetoric and no action. These companies have mastered the art of corporate doublespeak – by boasting about their climate credentials while quietly using their lobbying firepower to sabotage the implementation of sensible climate policy and pouring millions into groups that engage in dirty lobbying on their behalf. Catherine Howarth Chief Executive of ShareAction
I have a great feeling that very smart young people who are protesting won’t be fooled here. Oil companies need to come clean and invest in renewables ASAP or risk getting shut down in the long run. That’s right. I foresee a future in which governments from around the world take punitive action against oil and gas giants sometime in the next few decades, which will threaten their solvency. Big fossil fuel companies have trillions in resources to do a lot of good if only they are willing to rapidly change. Of course, we will keep abreast on any changes during the next few months and years.
Here is some climate and weather news from Saturday.
(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see articles.)
Here is an ET from Friday:
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Guy Walton- “The Climate Guy”