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The Greenpeace ship Esperanza sits near the Statoil contracted oil rig Transocean Spitsbergen. Greenpeacce

Groups Sue Norway Over Failure to Protect Environment for Future Generations

By David Leestma

Greenpeace and the Nature and Youth environmental group opened a lawsuit this week over Norway's failure to abide by its constitutional obligation to safeguard the environment for future generations.

The lawsuit, which focuses on local environmental damage and the contribution that oil extraction will make to climate change, challenges 10 licenses issued by the Norwegian government for exploration in the Barents Sea. Given to Statoil, Chevron and other oil companies, the licenses violate Norway's constitution and the Paris agreement, according to the plaintiffs. Government lawyers claim the case is a publicity stunt that risks valuable jobs.

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Gage Skidmore / Flickr

'Disappointing, Backwards Step': Critics Blast U.S. Exit From Global Oil, Gas Anti-Corruption Effort

The Trump administration has withdrawn from the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), an international anti-corruption initiative that requires member nations to report their oil, gas and mineral revenues, and for such extractive companies to report payments made to obtain these publicly owned natural resources.

The EITI Standard is implemented in about 50 countries around the world and provides the public information about how much government leaders receive in taxes, royalties and lease payments from such natural resource companies, as Bloomberg explained. For instance, this information would help ensure that revenue goes towards building or fixing roads and schools, rather than hiding away in foreign bank accounts.

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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.

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Trump's Pick for Top EPA Post Under Scrutiny for Deep Ties to Chemical Industry

From Scott Pruitt to Betsy DeVos, President Donald Trump has notoriously appointed a slew of individuals with serious conflicts of interests with the departments they oversee.

The latest is Michael L. Dourson, Trump's pick to head the EPA's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, the government's chemical safety program. Media reports reveal that the toxicologist is under intense scrutiny for his extensive ties to the chemical industry and a resumé dotted with some of the biggest names in the field: Koch Industries Inc., Chevron Corp., Dow AgroSciences, DuPont and Monsanto.

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Marin Sea Level Rise / Facebook

California Counties Sue Big Oil for Sea Level Rise Damages

Three California municipalities filed lawsuits Monday against 37 of the world's biggest fossil fuel companies, including Chevron, Exxon and Royal Dutch Shell. The legal challenges, brought by Marin and San Mateo counties and the city of Imperial Beach, allege that the companies knew about the harm of burning fossil fuels and therefore should pay for current and future damages to the municipalities due to climate change.

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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.

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Exxon, Chevron Join Trump in Opposing Russia Sanctions Bill

ExxonMobil, Chevron and other oil bigwigs have spoken out against legislation that would establish tough, new sanctions against Russia for meddling in the 2016 election.

The U.S. oil giants worry that the bill, which overwhelmingly passed the Senate 98-2 last month, could shut down oil and gas projects around the world that involve Russian partners, according to Market Watch.

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Exxon, Chevron Face Judgment Day at Upcoming Shareholder Meeting

By Kathy Mulvey

In preparation for their annual meetings on May 31, both Chevron and ExxonMobil opposed every climate-related resolution put forth by their shareholders. In a previous post, I wrote that Chevron continues to downplay climate risks while attempting to convince shareholders that the company's political activities—which include support for groups that spread climate disinformation—are in shareholders' long-term interests.

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Oil trapped by a berm and siphon dam in a dry ravine near Rangely, Colorado after a Chevron pipeline spill earlier this month. Photo credit: Environmental Protection Agency

Chevron Pipeline Spills 4,800 Gallons of Oil on Public Land, Kills Wildlife

Cleanup efforts are underway after a failed Chevron Corporation pipeline released about 4,800 gallons of oil into an intermittent stream on public land in northwestern Colorado and killed some wildlife.

The breach happened on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land and was first detected on March 5 by a Chevron consultant. The pipeline was shut down after discovery of the leak and the oil is now trapped in a berm and siphon dam in a dry ravine, according to the Associated Press.

As it happens, the leak occurred around the same time that the conservation group Center for Western Priorities found that Chevron was behind 31 reported spills in Colorado last year, ranking the energy corporation as the fourth highest oil and gas spiller in the state.

2016 Colorado Oil and Gas Toxic Release TrackerCenter for Western Priorities

Chevron spokeswoman Erika Conner said that while there are no public health concerns after the March 5 incident, some animals have died. Two mallard ducks covered in oil were found at the spill site and were transferred to Colorado Parks and Wildlife on March 5 but died the day after. Two other small birds and several mice have also been found dead by cleanup crews.

"The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been notified," Conner told The Daily Sentinel. "We regret the impact the release has had on the affected animals and are working diligently to avoid any additional impacts to wildlife."

Colorado Department of Natural Resources spokesman Todd Hartman told the AP that the failed section of pipeline is being analyzed to determine a cause.

The spill involved a 6-inch-diameter oil gathering pipeline, BLM spokesman David Boyd told The Daily Sentinel.

In its recent report, the Center for Western Priorities calculated available data from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and determined there were 509 reported spills in 2016—that's more than one a day in Colorado.


The number of spills in 2016 are less than the 615 reported spills and incidents in 2015, reflecting the decrease in drilling activity. However, the group expects spills to increase as the state ramps up oil and gas production.

"As drilling and production increase in Colorado—which is expected as the price of oil and gas may increase in the coming years—we also expect to see spills increase," the report said. "Monitoring these incidents help to inform Coloradans about the impacts of oil and gas development within the state."

In response to the report, Chevron said in a statement that it "aggressively manages the risk of spills through a rigorous ongoing asset integrity program wherever we operate."

"For example, Chevron has undertaken a comprehensive, multi-year, multi-million-dollar project to streamline and upgrade facilities and systems at our largest Colorado asset in Rangely," the company continued. "The program will continue through 2018. To date, approximately 11 miles of pipes have been removed from service."

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