ExxonMobil filed suit against the federal government last week, claiming that a $2 million fine levied against the company by the Treasury Department is "unlawful" and "capricious."
The Treasury Department fined Exxon Thursday morning, alleging that the oil giant displayed "reckless disregard" of U.S.-Russian sanctions in its dealings with Russian company Rosneft in 2014 under CEO Rex Tillerson.
The Treasury Department's suit highlights particularly problematic deals with Rosneft in 2014, when Exxon was under now-Sec. of State Tillerson's guidance. The suit comes as the House prepares to pass new sanctions legislation targeting Russia, Iran and North Korea. The compromise bill gives energy companies some wiggle room to participate in energy projects with Russian stakeholders.
Exxon Fined $2M for 'Reckless Disregard' of Sanctions During #Tillerson Era https://t.co/DtbbuLTHxI @DeSmogBlog @SierraClub @greenpeaceusa— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1500643803.0
As reported by the New York Times:
"The rationale for the lawsuit appears to go beyond the financial impact of the fine. Exxon feels that its reputation is at stake and that the threat of more sanctions, potentially costlier, is looming.
Treasury and Exxon have been sparring for years over the company's ability to do business with Russia. The Trump administration has recently been trying to show its mettle with a flurry of sanctions announcements amid concerns that Mr. Trump may soften those already enacted. At the same time, a Republican-controlled Congress is threatening to increase Russia sanctions, which could cost the energy industry billions of dollars."
"It's a fascinating dynamic playing itself out," Peter Kucik, a former official in Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control, told the Times. "It would be difficult to script this."
For a deeper dive:
By Jake Johnson
Amid reports that oil industry-friendly former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz remains under consideration to return to his old post in the incoming Biden administration, a diverse coalition of environmental groups is mobilizing for an "all-out push" to keep Moniz away from the White House and demand a cabinet willing to boldly confront the corporations responsible for the climate emergency.
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Anger, anxiety, overwhelm … climate change can evoke intense feelings.
"It's easy to feel dwarfed in the context of such a global systemic issue," says psychologist Renée Lertzman.
She says that when people experience these feelings, they often shut down and push information away. So to encourage climate action, she advises not bombarding people with frightening facts.
"When we lead with information, we are actually unwittingly walking right into a situation that is set up to undermine our efforts," she says.
She says if you want to engage people on the topic, take a compassionate approach. Ask people what they know and want to learn. Then have a conversation.
This conversational approach may seem at odds with the urgency of the issue, but Lertzman says it can get results faster.
"When we take a compassion-based approach, we are actively disarming defenses so that people are actually more willing and able to respond and engage quicker," she says. "And we don't have time right now to mess around, and so I do actually come to this topic with a sense of urgency… We do not have time to not take this approach."
Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media
Reposted with permission from Yale Climate Connections.
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