Renewable Energy
By Climate NexusEnergy
Nation’s Largest Wind Project Gets Approval

The Iowa Utilities Board approved the nation's largest wind energy project, which will power 800,000 homes once completed.

Macksburg Wind ProjectMidAmerican Energy

The 2,000-megawatt Wind XI project should be completed by the end of 2019.

"Wind energy helps us keep prices stable and more affordable for customers, provides jobs and economic benefits for communities and the state, and contributes to a cleaner environment for everyone," said Bill Fehrman, the CEO of the utility behind the project.

Bruce Nilles, senior director for Sierra Club's Beyond Coal campaign, agrees. Nilles said in a statement:

"This is an amazing example of how the unstoppable transition towards a 100% clean energy economy is moving faster than many expected. This is a landmark moment not only for the burgeoning wind energy industry in Iowa, a state which already runs on more than one-third wind energy and employs thousands of hard-working Iowans, but for the entire nation, as the largest wind project ever approved in the country. Iowa and MidAmerican's rapid transition from dirty coal to affordable and renewable wind energy offers a clear path for utilities nationwide to make major strides towards 100% clean energy in a way that provides family-supporting jobs and without rate increases.

This also represents a huge leap forward for one of Warren Buffett's three utilities and is a model for how his other two can quickly follow suit, particularly Pacificorp, which operates the largest coal fleet in the West. We still have tremendous work to ensure that this transition keeps moving full speed ahead, but one thing is certain: with announcements like the one today, we aren't ever going back to dirty fossil fuels."

For a deeper dive:

News: AP, Quad Cities Online

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for daily Hot News.

...
By Carl PopeClimate
Big Oil’s Nightmare Comes True

"This was retail politics and oil lost," was how Adrienne Alvord of Union of Concerned Scientists summed up the stunning environmental victory Tuesday in the California legislature, a victory which cemented the state's commitment to a 40 percent reduction in climate pollution by 2030.

It's not accidental that states providing climate leadership are the states with the biggest clean energy sectors, including California.

Only a few weeks ago there was a strong consensus that the oil industry, by spending millions of dollars on behalf of a cadre of moderate Democrats in the Assembly, had blocked just such a doubling down on the state's existing 2020 goals. For the oil industry, victory was an existential necessity. Only by holding future climate commitments hostage could the industry hope to get Gov. Brown to abandon the state's existing mandate that by 2020 the carbon content of fuels be cut by 10 percent. As a practical matter, the requirement means roughly 20 percent of California's more vehicles will be driving on something other than oil—electricity, natural gas or biofuels.

And oil knows it cannot withstand a competitive transportation fuels market. Once California creates such a market and builds businesses that can produce low carbon fuels at scale, fuels competition will go global and oil's empire will wither. But it looked like oil had survived to fight another day. Gov. Brown had signaled his next move by forming a ballot committee for a (high-risk) initiative for the fall of 2018. But a small group of climate and environmental justice advocates refused to let the Assembly moderates off the hook. Demanding a vote, they re-energized their broad coalition of main-line businesses, EJ advocates, labor, climate greens, the faith community, clean tech and clean fuels businesses, local government and public health advocates.

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon told them he would give them a vote once they had the votes—and on Tuesday he pulled the trigger, giving the oil industry, which thought it had won, only 24 hours to regroup. It wasn't enough and the Assembly passed SB32 by 47 votes, a six vote margin over the 41 needed. The California Nurses Association was heard from, but so was Ebay. Gov. Brown and the White House weighed in, but a lone Republican, Assemblywoman Catherine Baker joined them in supporting progress. Wednesday the Senate concurred and the bill, linked to an environmental justice focused companion bill, went to the governor for his signature.

Why the victory? Quite simply, retail politics. Clean energy now provides far more stimulus and creates far more jobs than fossil fuels. Clean power is seen by the public as the linch-pin of the state's economic future. Jobs on the ground trump oil industry ads on the screen. It's not accidental that states providing climate leadership are the states with the biggest clean energy sectors—California, Washington, Nevada, Oregon—and Iowa, with its nation leading wind sector and a public utility, Mid-America, that is planning to shortly hit 85 percent renewables and go on to 100 percent.

And it's cheaper.

The oil industry is in a state of shock. Their press release bizarrely asserted that Rendon had scheduled the vote to "cover up" the fact that the state's latest auction for carbon emission permits had attracted few buyers—a result oil called "terrible." The auction simply reflected the fact that emitters, uncertain if the law would be extended past 2020, did not know how many permits they needed to buy. The oil industry conceded as much, saying "Today's miserable auction result reflects the market's lack of certainty." But it is revealing that oil called it "terrible" and "miserable" that the cost of carbon permits was low—demonstrating again that what they fear is not that decarbonizing will cost too much and hurt the economy, but that it will prove irresistibly cheap and strand them. Also revealing—SB32 was written precisely to provide the certainty whose absence the oil industry allegedly deplores!

(In fact, the legislature is going home next week and Rendon had to bring the bill up more or less when he did. The short notice was tactical—but hardly conspiratorial).

Ideological, right-wing opponents of climate progress and clean energy stayed more on message, releasing a poll purporting to show that the public, all the other evidence to the contrary, didn't really favor tougher clean-up of carbon pollution or California climate leadership after all.

Read carefully, however, the poll says something quite different. It confirms that most Californians want to move forward on clean energy and climate, believe that such progress is good for California even if others do not lead and want action. Even California Republicans are part of this consensus. Sixty-two percent of California Republican voters think that climate change is either a very serious or somewhat serious threat to the state. Again, of Republicans, 67 percent expect the changes resulting from global warming to occur in their lifetimes. A majority favor the state's current climate goals and a plurality favor the longer-term, more ambitious goals just passed.

It is true that, if nudged to believe that after such action, "hundreds of local manufacturing facilities would be shut down and thousands of middle-class jobs would be lost in California" large majorities of Republicans, and Democrats and Independents, lose their appetite. But if you said to the same sample that ambitious climate progress would mean "continued economic growth, an end to air pollution, cheaper gas and billions of dollars of new exports for California industries" the supportive numbers among Republicans would probably jump from a plurality to a super-majority. The latter statement is the true one, it turns out—and, more or less, it is what most California voters are experiencing—which explains why, un-manipulated, even Republicans are happy that the state continues to move forward.

But California is not the only arena where oil's long regime is coming to an end. Investors are watching warily as the majors—Chevron, Exxon, BP and Shell have now accumulated an unprecedented $184 billion in debt, fallen far short ($40 billion short in the first half of 2016) of their promised goals of paying their dividends from profits, not borrowing. Shell, Chevron, Exxon and BP have all seen their previous platinum grade credit ratings cut a notch. To placate investors, the majors pledge that they have new (but far from transparent) business plans to someday make money again—if only oil will stay at some magic level. For BP it's $50-55/barrel. Unfortunately, it has not been in that range since 2014.

Many of the independent oil producers, of course, have gone bankrupt. Oil remains stubbornly below $50. Most independent analysts believe that for the oil majors, prices in the $75 range are required to compete with Persian Gulf and other OPEC members in the long term. And those prices, unequivocally, require one thing: a continuation of oil's monopoly in transportation fuel.

California this week called the question. That monopoly is going away. Oil has lost before, but never because the retail politics of its competitors proved more compelling. This was no decisive battle. There may be none, just as there is no moment when the fate of the Roman Empire was sealed.

But the sands of time are running. Oil's empire is in its decline and fall.

...
By DeSmogBlogEnergy
Renewable Energy Generation Breaks Records Every Month in 2016

By Mike Gaworecki

Electricity generation from wind, solar and other renewable energy technologies have set monthly records every month so far in 2016, based on data through June released by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) Wednesday.

"Both hydroelectric and nonhydroelectric renewables have contributed to this trend, but in different ways. After a lengthy West Coast drought, hydro generation has increased and is now closer to historical levels. Nonhydro renewable generation continues to increase year-over-year and has exceeded hydro generation in each month since February 2016," the EIA said.

Nellis Solar Power Plant located within Nellis Air Force Base, northeast of Las Vegas. The power plant occupies 140 acres, contains about 70,000 solar panels and generates 14 megawatts of solar power for the base. Wikimedia Commons

According to EIA's data, net U.S. electricity generation from non-hydroelectric, utility-scale renewables—biomass, geothermal, solar and wind—through June 2016 was 17 percent higher than in the first half of 2015. Electricity generation from conventional hydropower also rose, by nearly 12 percent. Combined, production from all utility-scale renewable sources was up 14.5 percent compared to the same period in 2015.

Not only has electricity generated by renewables exceeded previous levels in every month so far in 2016—in other words, more renewable energy was produced in January 2016 than any other January on record, more renewable energy was produced in February 2016 than any other February and so on—but renewable utility-scale electricity generation hit an all-time high of 16.55 percent of total domestic generation.

Those weren't the only records broken, either. Utility-scale wind rose 23.5 percent in the first half of 2016, setting a new six-month record of 5.96 percent of total generation.

Meanwhile, generation from utility-scale solar thermal and photovoltaics grew by 30.3 percent and accounted for 0.87 percent of total utility-scale electrical output. The EIA also estimates that distributed solar photovoltaics or rooftop solar systems, expanded by 34.3 percent. Combined, utility-scale and distributed solar comprised 1.26 percent of total generation. A year ago, solar was responsible for just 0.94 percent of electricity generation.

Together, wind and solar grew by nearly 25 percent over the first half of 2015 and now provide almost as much electricity as conventional hydropower. Biomass and geothermal were the only renewable sources tracked by the EIA that have experienced declines so far in 2016.

Of course, renewables aren't the only record-breakers out there. July 2016 was the 15th record-breaking month in a row in terms of global temperatures, data from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association showed. And Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, reported that July 2016 was also "absolutely the hottest month since the instrumental records began."

Electricity generated from coal plummeted by more than 20 percent and nuclear power stagnated, growing just one percent, per the EIA data. Generation fueled by natural gas, on the other hand, was up by 7.7 percent.

Still, Ken Bossong, executive director of the SUN DAY Campaign, noted that renewable energy has continued to defy projections.

"Renewable energy's share of net electrical generation for the balance of 2016 may dip a little because electrical output from wind and hydropower sources tends to be highest during the first six months of each year," Bossong said. "Nonetheless, the data thus far is swamping EIA's earlier forecast of just 9.5 percent growth by renewables in 2016."

...
By Stefanie SpearClimate
Bill Nye: 'There's Enough Wind and Solar' to Power the World

If you're wondering if the epic flooding in Louisiana is related to climate change, CNN has your answer.

Bill Nye the Science Guy was on CNN's New Day Tuesday to talk about the flooding in Louisiana, where at least 13 people have been killed and 60,000 homes damaged.

"For us, on my side of this, this is a result of climate change," Nye told CNN's Chris Cuomo. "It's only going to get worse."

"As the ocean gets warmer, which it is getting, it expands," he continued. "Molecules spread apart and then as the sea surface is warmer more water evaporates. And so it's very reasonable that these storms are connected to these big effects."

In addition to discussing impacts of climate change, Nye shared what he believes is a solution to the problem of a warming planet.

"The big unexploited renewable resource on the East Coast of the United States, and Canada and Mexico, is wind," Nye said. "So, I encourage you, I am not a member of this, but I encourage everybody to check out The Solutions Project, a bunch of civil engineers who have done an analysis that you could power the United States, you could power most of the world, renewably if you just decided to do it, right now. There's enough wind and solar resources, a little bit of tidal and some geothermal, to run the whole place."

Nye did not just leave the conversation about climate change and renewables, he also called out CNN for having "essentially a climate change denier meteorologist."

Nye didn't mention any names, but, according to Huffington Post, he appeared to be referring to CNN meteorologist Chad Myers, who has a track record of making comments on climate change that run counter to established science.

"You know, to think that we could affect weather all that much is pretty arrogant," Myers said in 2008.

However, on Twitter, Myers said that he has since come around:

He followed up that tweet with this one:

...
By Climate NexusEnergy
Solar Cost Hits World's New Low, Half the Price of Coal

Chile awarded a contract to sell solar power for $29.10 per megawatt hour (MWh), the lowest ever across the planet.

ACERA

This surpasses the record set in May of a $29.90 per MWh bid in Dubai for an 800 megawatt (MW) solar project.

"This is the lowest price ever seen, for any renewable technology," an analyst told Bloomberg. The low price is possible due to the rapid fall in cost of solar technology and the 12 MW solar plant's location in the ideal conditions of Chile's Atacama Desert.

For a deeper dive:

News: Bloomberg, BusinessGreen, SeeNews Renewables

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for daily Hot News.

...
By Sierra ClubClimate
Eliminating $5.3 Trillion of Fossil Fuel Subsidies

This week, as G20 leaders prepare to convene on Sept. 4 in Hangzhou, China, the Sierra Club launched its newest initiative, the Fossil Free Finance Campaign. With more than $5.3 trillion in global subsidies currently funneled into the pockets of the world's fossil fuel giants annually, the Fossil Free Finance Campaign aims to move the U.S. government and public institutions, like the World Bank, as well as governments around the world—including those at the G20—to completely eliminate all fossil fuel subsidies by 2020.

In 2009, G20 leaders committed to phasing out fossil fuel subsidies but failed to set a deadline and seven years later, the world is still waiting for concrete action. G20 countries are still responsible for more than $440 billion in fossil fuel subsidies annually and account for 74 percent of global carbon emissions that are driving the climate crisis. To put that into perspective, the annual total of G20 subsidies is more than four times the global investment in clean energy.

"In the past seven years, we've seen historic climate progress across the U.S. and around the globe—from the Clean Power Plan to the U.S.-China agreement to limit carbon pollution to the adoption of the Paris agreement. But while the world moves forward toward a 100 percent clean energy economy, G20 leaders have remained stagnant, with the world waiting on empty promises," Michael Brune, Sierra Club's executive director, said.

"Shifting over $440 billion from the pockets of the world's dirtiest polluters is no small feat, but it's a challenge that the Sierra Club and everyone who cares about clean air and water, healthy communities and a stable climate needs to take on."

Building on the momentum of the historic Paris agreement, the Sierra Club is prepared to call on U.S. leaders to walk the walk and will be actively and aggressively pursuing this important goal by engaging a 360-degree organizing, communications, digital and advocacy campaign. By building and strengthening coalitions, mobilizing our 2.4 million members and supporters and keeping the pressure high on both U.S. leaders and those around the world, the Sierra Club will push for an end to all fossil fuel subsidies within the next four years. We'll be tackling this issue at all levels of government and are prepared to elevate this issue in the weeks to come as the world prepares to ratify the Paris agreement.

...
By EWContributorEnergy
Offshore Wind vs. Nukes in New York State

By Wendy Sol

Environmentalists see a devil and an angel on Gov. Cuomo's shoulder and it appears both are getting their way when it comes to New York's energy future—although one will have to be more patient than the other.

At the behest of state energy regulators in July, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) delayed plans to approve a wind farm expected to be built 30 miles off the shore of Montauk at the far northern end of Long Island. With 15 turbines producing 90 megawatts (MW) of electricity, the project, built by Deepwater Wind LLC, would be the most sizable of its kind in the U.S., which has lagged significantly behind Europe in developing offshore wind resources.

"We're looking at this and seeing a tremendous offshore wind resource that will be developed and it's not the last," Thomas Falcone, the utility's chief executive officer told the Associated Press a week ahead of the scheduled vote. "[T]his is a very big step for New York, but also for the U.S."

From Virginia to Maine, the Eastern seaboard has the potential to harness 240,000 MW of offshore wind, nearly 40,000 MW of which blows off Long Island's coast, according to research by the New York Energy Policy Institute and Stony Brook University. Deepwater Wind's farm will only generate a fraction of what is possible but environmentalists see the plan as an important move toward weaning New York off of polluting energy sources like gas, coal and nuclear.

"It's going to help to open the door here to offshore wind power," said Kim Fraczek, of the New York-based Sane Energy Project. The group hopes the project will lead to more turbines, including some off of Long Island's southeastern shore, where Sane Energy won a hard-fought campaign last year to block a natural gas terminal and is now advocating for construction of a 750 MW wind farm in its place.

The state's Energy and Research Development Authority, chaired by Cuomo-appointed energy czar Richard Kaufman, intervened last month and requested that the LIPA delay approving the Montauk wind farm until the state releases an offshore wind master plan in August. It was the second time this summer the LIPA put off voting on the wind farm, which was originally expected to be greenlit in June.

The Deepwater Wind farm might be in need of CPR after the bureaucratic hold up, but Cuomo is breathing new life into geriatric nuclear reactors upstate, currently hemorrhaging money for their operators.

When the New York Public Service Commission approved new clean energy standards on Aug. 1, it included a provision that will force the state's power utilities to purchase $7.6 billion worth of electricity over the next 12 years from the R. E. Ginna and Nine Mile Point nuclear plants operated by Exelon Corp, as well as Entergy's James A. FitzPatrick nuclear facility.

Cuomo, who sought the bailout for the struggling plants and tied it to plans for New York to receive 50 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, praised the commission's decision. Electrical providers, forced to buy nuclear power at above-market rates, are going to "pay for the intrinsic value of carbon-free emissions," Cuomo said in a statement.

Ratepayers will ultimately be the ones picking up the tab, however, as utilities pass on the cost of electricity from nuclear power to consumers.

Critics also observe that while carbon emissions from nuclear plants are minimal compared to those burning fossil fuels, the process of mining and enriching uranium required to power reactors is carbon-intensive. The plants emit radioactive chemicals into the environment as a matter of daily operation, produce large amounts of toxic waste and present a safety risk to the public, as evidenced by the 2011 Fukushima disaster, which only increases as they age.

"These plants are old and decaying," said Fraczek. "[The bailout] is a giant slap in the face to the public."

Her hope is that plans for the wind farm off the coast of Montauk will eventually move forward and pave the way for more ambitious projects, including the 750 MW wind farm Sane Energy wants built off the coast of the Rockaways in Queens.

"The only way our state is going to truly meet its renewable energy goals is with offshore wind," she said.

This article was reposted with permission from our media associate The Indypendent.

...
By The Solutions ProjectClimate
Are You on the Front Lines Fighting for Clean Energy? Here's How You Can Fund Your Campaign

One year after establishing itself as a climate and clean energy funder, The Solutions Project is launching the Fighter Fund, a new grant-making program for community-based groups on the front lines of the fight for clean energy and climate justice. The Fighter Fund is designed to be a highly responsive source of money that invests in change makers as change is happening. Plans call for the Fighter Fund to respond to most applicants' requests in a matter of days, instead of the months traditional philanthropic funding decisions can often take.

Mark Ruffalo and Leonardo DiCaprio at an event hosted by The Solutions Project. Kelly Taub / BFA.com

"Often philanthropy can't keep up with what's happening on the ground," said Tyler Nickerson, director of investments and state strategy at The Solutions Project, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to 100 percent clean energy for all. "The Fighter Fund is designed to make small grants at key movement moments so that homegrown, frontline groups working with regular people from Alaska to Alabama to Alberta can empower and mobilize communities."

The grants, topping out at $15,000 each, will be available on a rolling basis to nonprofits throughout the U.S., Mexico and Canada. Groups are encouraged to apply when this money would make a tangible difference in their work.

"If we want real change—a sunlight revolution—we have to support fighters on the front lines," said The Solutions Project Co-Founder Mark Ruffalo, who came up with the idea and the name for the Fighter Fund and recruited his fellow actor Leonardo DiCaprio and other donors to co-fund the effort.

"I'm excited about this innovation in clean energy philanthropy. We're creating a nimble source of funding that sends money where it's needed, when it's needed, to support bold action, collaboration and leadership in communities across the continent."

Examples of occasions when nonprofits could successfully apply for funding include:

  • Direct actions or organizing that support a transition to 100 percent clean energy or keeping fossil fuels in the ground;
  • Communications, earned media or new media that builds public will and cultural power for the energy transition; and
  • Movement-building actions such as planning, convening and training activities.

The Fighter Fund grew out of The Solutions Project's first year of grant making through the 100% Leadership Fund, which so far has invested nearly $1 million supporting nonprofits working for clean energy in the states of Iowa, New York and California.

"The 100% Leadership Fund involves bigger investments and longer-term commitments to organizations across the country," Nickerson said. "But we need to be able to move money faster and more strategically to keep pace with what is going on with the climate justice movement. The Fighter Fund allows us to do that—and to make riskier frontline bets."

Earlier this year, 100% Leadership Fund grants went to Iowa groups involved in working on that state's astonishing progress in wind energy. Iowa now gets more than 31 percent of its electricity from wind power and Gov. Terry Branstad, a Republican, is calling for Iowa to hit 40 percent wind power in the next five years.

Most recently, The Solutions Project announced fresh 100% Leadership grants to groups working for policies that advance clean energy in the state of New York. As part of the NY Renews coalition, they launched an effort to make New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's ambitious clean energy targets—including 50 percent renewable energy by 2030, which is one of the country's most ambitious clean-energy goals—first benefit working families. In June, the coalition cheered as the New York Assembly passed the nation's most ambitious climate bill, requiring that greenhouse gas emissions from major sources fall to zero by 2050 while safeguarding economic and environmental justice.

"A year after establishing The Solutions Project as a climate and clean energy funder, we are excited to add this new grant program to our portfolio of work," said Sarah Shanley Hope, The Solutions Project's executive director.

"We take a hybrid approach: We inspire action through our 100% campaign, while also providing direct financial support to grassroots organizations across the country. To achieve 100 percent clean energy for 100 percent of the people, we must all give our 100 percent. We know these investments will help get us there."

The 100% Leadership Fund and the Fighter Fund are generously supported by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, Sara & Evan Williams Foundation, JPB Foundation and Franciscan Sisters of Mary.

Community-based nonprofits interested in Fighter Fund grants can ask questions of The Solutions Project's program officer, Rudi Navarra, at rudi@thesolutionsproject.org, and can submit applications here.

...
Renewables Soar by 70% in World's 20 Major Economies

By Andy Rowell

As the renewable revolution gathers a pace, the oil industry has launched yet another PR offensive trying to rebrand fossil fuels as sustainable.

So first the good news. The percentage of electricity generated by renewables in the world's largest economies has soared by 70 percent over the last five years, according to new research.

Data compiled by the Bloomberg New Energy Finance research group for the Financial Times reveals that a real "shift away from fossil fuels is starting to take hold in some regions."

The data reveals that G20 countries collectively produced 8 percent of their electricity from solar, wind and other renewable sources in 2015, up from 4.6 percent in 2010.

Germany now tops the list of seven G20 members who generate more than 10 percent of their electricity from renewables, with the country producing more than a third of its electricity from renewables.

Despite Obama's efforts to cut fossil fuels from the country's generation mix, the U.S. still lags behind, generating only about 8 percent of power from renewables.

The data is released as Bill Mckibben, from 350.org, has penned a powerful polemic of the need to fight much harder to combat climate change in the New Republic. Likening the battle against climate change to World War III, he writes:

"We're used to war as metaphor: the war on poverty, the war on drugs, the war on cancer ... But this is no metaphor. By most of the ways we measure wars, climate change is the real deal: Carbon and methane are seizing physical territory, sowing havoc and panic, racking up casualties, and even destabilizing governments ... It's not that global warming is like a world war. It is a world war."

He adds:

"And as in all conflicts, millions of refugees are fleeing the horrors of war, their numbers swelling daily as they're forced to abandon their homes to escape famine and desolation and disease. World War III is well and truly underway. And we are losing."

Mckibben points out how America could be leading the renewable power race. Research by Mark Jacobson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Stanford University reveals that America could generate 80 to 85 percent of its power from sun, wind and water by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050. And its not just in the US. The Stanford team has drawn up similar detailed plans for 139 other nations.

So why is it not happening? Why are we losing? One reason is that "There are powerful forces, of course, that stand in the way of a full-scale mobilization."

And those powerful forces of course are Big Oil and its allies, which despite climate change continue to resist and undermine the renewable revolution and promote fossil fuels. As in any war, propaganda is key and the oil industry keeps on pumping out its message.

Anyone who has been following the climate debate will know of the way that Exxon and the Koch brothers have long distorted it by pouring tens of millions into groups that deny climate change.

The Koch brothers are now funding a new campaign aimed at "rebranding" fossil fuels called Fueling U.S. Forward. The website is packed full of carefully crafted oil industry messaging and statistics.

The Koch brothers are now funding a new campaign aimed at "rebranding" fossil fuels called Fueling U.S. Forward. The website is packed full of carefully crafted oil industry messaging and statistics.

But be careful what you read. Big Oil has tried this before, with BP rebranding itself "Beyond Petroleum" just after the Millennium and Shell, Chevron and others publishing greenwashing adverts trying to portray oil as green.

And now they are trying it again.

It was back in February that it was first reported that the Kochs were looking at funding a $10 million a year PR campaign to "boost petroleum-based transportation fuels and attack government subsidies for electric vehicles."

As DeSmogBlog reports, the new PR campaign was launched last weekend at the Red State Gathering 2016, after the new website had been launched earlier this month.

Rather than promote truly sustainable energy sources which are renewables the intention of the campaign is to try and persuade people that fossil fuels are supposedly sustainable.

It is classic disinformation straight out of Big Tobacco's playbook.

"We need a sustainable energy to ensure the future of the country," Charles Drevna, who is leading the PR campaign, told the audience. "Folks, that's of course the fossil fuels," he added.

Drevna, an ex-fossil fuel lobbyist, went on: "We've got to take this to the emotional and personal level. "Oil and natural gas, they're not the fuels of the past and maybe the present or a necessary evil. They are the future."

Drevna also told the crowd what we have long known, that the oil industry had "been engaged in asymmetric warfare."

So the oil industry sees the fight against climate change as a war too.

To help clear the fog of war, DeSmogBlog has now launched a microsite called Koch Vs. Clean, which "takes a closer look at the Koch network's efforts to promote the continued burning of fossil fuels and undermine clean energy."

...