Quantcast
Popular
Fourth St. sign under water in San Francisco. Scott Schiller/Flickr

San Francisco Becomes First Major U.S. City to Sue Fossil Fuel Industry Over Costs of Climate Change

San Francisco and Oakland are suing Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, BP and Royal Dutch Shell—the five biggest investor-owned fossil fuel producers in the world—over the costs of climate change.

The two Californian cities join the counties of Marin, San Mateo and San Diego and the city of Imperial Beach that have taken similar legal action in recent months, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
Art Not Oil / Facebook

Artist Donates BP Prize Money to Greenpeace

A growing number of artists and concerned citizens are speaking out against the oil industry's sponsorship of the arts.

The Guardian reported this week that Henry Christian-Slane, the winner of BP's annual Young Artist Award at the National Portrait Gallery in London, donated a portion of his £7,000 prize money to Greenpeace in protest of the multinational oil and gas giant.

Keep reading... Show less
Energy
The USGS Core Research Center collaborated with the USGS Energy Resources Program to drill a core from the Mancos Shale to aid in the oil and gas assessment. Joshua Hicks, USGS

Fracking New Mexico: BP Just Found 'Significant New Source of U.S. Natural Gas Supply'

By Andy Rowell

Amidst the continued dire warnings about climate change, censored scientists and stranded assets, the oil industry keeps on doing what it does best: keeps on belligerently looking for more oil and gas.

Earlier this week, BP announced it had discovered what it is labelling a "significant new source of U.S. natural gas supply" in New Mexico in the Mancos Shale, just across from the Colorado border.

Keep reading... Show less
Climate

These 100 Companies Are to Blame for 71% of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Since 1988

New research claims that just 100 fossil fuel producers are to blame for 71 percent of industrial greenhouse gases since 1988, the year human-induced climate change was officially recognized through the establishment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Despite the landmark establishment, the oil, coal and gas industry has expanded significantly and has become even more carbon-intensive since 1988, according the 2017 Carbon Majors report from the environmental not-for-profit CDP.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
www.facebook.com

Who Lives in a Pineapple Under the Sea and is Latest Advocate for Amazon Reef?

By Mal Chadwick

BP is at it again.

The company that devastated the Gulf of Mexico with its Deepwater Horizon disaster wants to drill for oil near the pristine Amazon Reef. What could possibly go wrong?

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
BP oil spill led to baby dolphin deaths and diseases along the Gulf Coast. Truth Wire

Rush Limbaugh Claims BP Oil Spill Didn't Harm Environment

BP's 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion that claimed the lives of 11 men, killed numerous dolphins and other marine life, and released millions of barrels of oil and natural gas into the Gulf of Mexico was an environmental disaster. The catastrophe has left far-reaching impacts on the region's economy and ecosystems that continue to this day. This is fact.

But leave it to Rush Limbaugh to alternative fact the BP oil spill, claiming on his radio show this week that it "didn't do any damage" to the environment.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
BP Global

BP Arctic Oil Well Still Leaking, Too Unstable to Shut Down

BP and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials spent the holiday weekend trying to repair a leaking oil well on Alaska's North Slope. Officials said the well is too unstable to shut down because of frigid temps in the high Arctic, but have released the pressure on one of the main leaks.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Energy

BP Abandons Drilling in the Great Australian Bight

By Andy Rowell

Conservationists and environmentalists in Australia are celebrating a major victory after the oil giant BP announced that it is abandoning its hugely controversial plans to drill for oil and gas in the Great Australian Bight.

The area, which is off the country's southern coast, is a marine park and home to one of the largest breeding populations of endangered southern right whales in the world.

BP had big plans for the Bight and had once boasted that the region could be as important to the oil industry as the Gulf of Mexico.

But BP had also been struggling to persuade Australia's regulator, National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, Nopsema, that it could safely drill in the highly ecologically sensitive region.

Three times the regulator has knocked back the company, the third being just last month, when it again found BP's environmental plans inadequate.

The company's plans have also long been opposed by the Wilderness Society and other groups. Speaking last year, the Society's South Australia's director Peter Owen said: "The Great Australian Bight is a haven for whales, boasting the world's most significant southern right whale nursery as well as many humpback, sperm, blue and beak whales."

Environmentalists have called on BP to abandon its plans saying that the area could not be put at risk from oil exploitation and that the company could never adequately clean up an oil spill.

Today their wish was granted. BP said it was pulling out due to costs and the low oil price.

Claire Fitzpatrick, BP's managing director for exploration and production, Australia said: "We have looked long and hard at our exploration plans for the Great Australian Bight but, in the current external environment, we will only pursue frontier exploration opportunities if they are competitive and aligned to our strategic goals."

She added: "After extensive and careful consideration, this has proven not to be the case for our project to explore in the Bight."

It is not surprising that today's decision by BP was welcomed by environmental groups.

Lyndon Schneiders, Wilderness Society national director said: "This decision shows that it's too expensive to establish the significant and costly risk management and clean up capacity infrastructure needed to protect our communities" from the enormous associated spill risks.

Greenpeace Australia oceans campaigner, Nathaniel Pelle was ecstatic too: "This will come as a huge relief to anyone whose business relies on clean, green seas in the Great Australian Bight, to the fishing communities, to the tourism industry and it is a huge victory for them."

The South Australian Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young added "BP have said goodbye to the Bight, I say good riddance to BP."

She added that the Greens had a bill before the Senate that would permanently protect the Great Australian Bight from oil and gas drilling. "It's time that bill was supported, so that this precious natural environment can be protected for generations to come," said Hanson-Young.

Indeed, the Wilderness Society is now urging other oil and gas companies, such as Chevron, Santos and Statoil, to follow BP's and exit the Blight. Peter Owen, the Society's South Australian director of has also now called on the government to rescind all other permits for oil and gas in the region.

However, Statoil, BP's partner is currently continuing with the project.

"The risk to the Bight is not entirely over," argues Greenpeace Australia oceans campaigner, Nathaniel Pelle. "There are still multiple oil and gas companies with titles in the Bight and it won't be over until all the oil and gas prospects have left."

Energy

BP Platform Leaks Oil Into North Sea With No Plans to Clean It Up

About 95 metric tons of oil leaked into the North Sea on Sunday from BP's Clair platform, and it will be left in the ocean. BP says the oil is moving away from land and dispersing naturally, but the spill is a reminder that accidents happen as more oil development is eyed for the Arctic.

Oil slick visible from spill off BP Clair platform in the North Sea.Maritime and Coastguard Agency

In what BP called a "technical issue," oil was released into the North Sea, located about 46 miles, west of the Shetland Islands. BP shut down the oil rig and said it is investigating the accident.

The oil company said it had conducted five aerial surveys with three more planned for Tuesday to monitor the oil slick.

"It is considered that the most appropriate response remains to allow the oil to disperse naturally at sea, but contingencies for other action have been prepared and are available, if required," BP said.

In addition to Clair, BP operates the Quad204 facility in the North Sea, 108 miles west of Shetland, in a field that has been drilled since 1998. The North Sea has seen oil and gas extraction for decades, with about half of the estimated reserves having already been taken. Oil production peaked in 1999, but production has been on an upswing in recent years. A recent discovery off Norway, the Johan Sverdrup oil field, is expected to begin production in 2019.

According to energy consultancy Crystol Energy, "The Johan Sverdrup field is expected to be one of the most important industrial projects in Norway over the next 50 years."

Crystol Energy

From 2000 to 2011, there were 4,123 separate oil spills in the North Sea, according to an investigation by The Guardian. Oil companies were fined for just seven of them. No single fine was greater than about $25,000.

There have been a number of major oil spills in the North Sea—the largest of which was the 1977 Bravo blowout that released an estimated 80,000 to 126,000 barrels of oil. The well spewed oil for seven days. In 2011, Shell spilled more than 200 metric tons from the Gannet Alpha platform, and a 2007 mishap while a tanker was loading oil resulted in a spill of 4,000 metric tons, or about 25,000 barrels of oil. None of these spills were alleged to have any ecological impact, and all but the Bravo blowout were allowed to disperse, unchecked, by the sea.

As the Arctic Ocean warms, oil giants are eyeing the northern seas for more oil exploration and development. It is a dangerous environment in which to drill.

As Greenpeace stated, "The long history of oil spills around the world has made one thing clear: the only way to prevent an oil spill is to keep oil in the ground."

The Arctic lacks the infrastructure to stop, mitigate or clean up a major oil spill, or even to quickly aid workers on a damaged platform.

But that isn't stopping oil companies. Today, Caelus Energy boasted of a "world-class" discovery that could turn out to be one of the largest finds in Alaska. In a press release, Caelus CEO Jim Musselman called the find "really exciting" and the company said the Smith Bay complex could produce 200,000 barrels of oil per day.

"Without the state tax credit programs, none of this would've happened, and I'm not sure Caelus would've come to explore in Alaska," Musselman added.

In June, 400 scientists signed a letter urging President Obama to stop any further oil development in the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. A 2014 study found that the polar bear population in the Southern Beaufort Sea had dropped by an astounding 40 percent from 2001 to 2010.

"Accidents can and do happen, and in this extreme environment, the only truly safe approach to protect the unique and fragile Arctic offshore environment is no drilling whatsoever," Brad Ack, World Wildlife Fund's senior vice president for oceans, said in July.

Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!