XL Pipeline Gets New Commitments Although Top Oil Companies Admitted Greenhouse Gas Causes Climate Change; A Travesty for Our Future

The XL Pipeline appears to be a done deal if you search the Internet. The links I’ve referenced below are all pretty much the same with breaking news that additional commitments have been made with TransCanada to deliver tar sands oil via the XL Pipeline from Canada to Houston. What ALL of the articles fail to disclose is just who these “new” commitments are? Is it U.S. big oil, the Koch Brothers, China, who? Did these new binding commitments come from GOP members of our congress that attached the XL Pipeline rider to the Payroll Tax Cut bill? None of the articles relate anything about the new attachment to the Payroll Tax Cuts but it sure seems a coincidence the rider appeared a few days ago and then TransCanada made its announcement about new commitments.

An article in the Vancouver Sun http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Keystone
+pipeline+delay+tragedy/5868403/story.html
about TransCanada’s CEO Russ Girling
pretty much says the same but that he wants no part of the wrangling going on in congress over it. Suuuuuuurrrrre. Liar. TransCanada has been lobbying big time for this pipeline. After the demonstrations against the pipeline TransCanada knew it would more than likely come to an act of congress to get their wish. That 100 million dollar sucker their dangling in front of us as a big benefit to the U.S. will never make it to the average citizen. Any profits will go to big oil’s coffers and fuel a backlash for more dirty energy. As for us, the gas at the pump will go sky high. Truth is Canada has been rubbing its palms together to raise prices at the pump for its oil to the U.S. for awhile. The plan is to create greater demand for the dirty crude by shipping it directly to Asia. A billion waiting consumers in China will do the trick.

Read about it:

http://dirtyoilsands.org/midwestgas.
http://stopbigoilripoffs.com/documents.
http://sierraclub.typepad.com/carlpope/2011/08/tar-sands-oil-keystone.html.
http://thinkprogress.org/green/2011/10/28/356486/promoting-tar-sands-myths-cnns-steve-hargreaves-bets-keystone-xl-pipeline-will-be-approved/.

This is going to get nasty before it gets better. Using jobs to extort new filthy energy after big oil including Exxon admitted greenhouse gases contribute to climate change is suicide. And they want to take us with them. Oh we’ll have pocketfuls of money according to the pipeline supporters. Another suuuuurrrre!!! What good will that do against the wrath of Mother Nature in the end? And the trip to that end will be filled with more strange autoimmune diseases for our children due to pollution not to mention asthma and lung related problems. If we really liked the downpours, flooding, drought, and fires we’ve been experiencing there will surely be encore productions of that too.

Not long ago Exxon Mobil stated:

The world faces a significant challenge to supply the energy required for economic development and improved standards of living while managing greenhouse gas emissions and the risks of climate change, said Emil Jacobs, vice president of research and development at Exxon Mobil Research and Engineering Co. It’s going to take integrated solutions and the development of all commercially viable energy sources, improved energy efficiency and effective steps to curb emissions. It is also going to include the development of new technology.

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http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2009/07/14/14greenwire-exxon-sinks-600m-into-algae-based-biofuels-in-33562.html.

Conoco Phillips stated:

ConocoPhillips recognizes that human activity, including the burning of fossil fuels, is contributing to increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that can lead to adverse changes in global climate

http://www.conocophillips.com/EN/susdev/policies/climate_change_position/Pages/index.aspx.

Royal Dutch Shell stated:

Royal Dutch Shell’s PLS chief said the implementation of climate change agreements made at Cancun last month “won’t happen overnight”, and policymakers must take action now “because the clock is ticking.

http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/you-know-climate-change-is-real-when-the-ceo-of-shell-states-the-clock-is-ticking-and-we-need-to-take-action-now/.

Links to articles about the “new commitments” to the XL Pipeline:

http://www.transcanada.com/5907.html.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/TransCanada-Announces-iw-1226478735.html.

http://www.bloomberg.com/article/2011-12-15/arEDwAwsRxw0.html.

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Oil Industry Earnings Leap

Even though less oil was produced, higher prices at the pump resulted in a leap of earnings for the U.S. largest oil companies.

We encourage oil companies by subsidizing them to produce more. The claim is we have to get away from HOSTILE foreign sources of oil. Hell, we get half our oil from HOSTILE CANADA.

So let me get this straight. Subsidies went in but production was down anyway and what did come out were higher prices at the pump for us and a big, big profit for Exxon. And besides big profits, taxes are basically non-existent for big oil. How?

A subsidy works like a tax cut and clearly contributes to the oil industry’s big profits. The Becker-Posner blog (and other sources) claim big oil pays little to no taxes because: “The aggregate values of the subsidies to the U.S. oil industry is approximately $5 billion a year, almost as much as the industry pays in federal income tax ($5.7 billion).” It’s a wash!

Doesn’t it occur to anyone that independent companies should be paying for their own production, and when it’s a bust, they eat the loss like the rest of the little businesses do? But then again the little guys are still subject to a free market, which depends upon close competition. The little guys can’t raise prices too much or they lose buyers. But we consumers have little to no alternative choices for gas that’s economically and environmentally viable at this point. Therefore, big oil is not subject to a truly free market. They have no competition other than foreign vs. domestic oil. And what about the competition that just never seems to get off the ground as far as new fuels like algae, hydrogen, etc. No one seems to be curious about that fact even though our military is thoroughly enjoying algae fuel. The U.S. used to be a big innovator but all of that seems to have stopped especially when it comes to energy.

Warnings about too big to fail should be “TOO BIG TO TAKE DOWN NOW” for many U.S. corporations especially big oil. They call the shots when it comes to cutting out their subsidies that would save us billions. Attempts have been made to do that back to Reagan without success. The threat to us from big oil is evident in commercials where supposedly normal citizens are interviewed and warn: “Increasing taxes (cutting subsidies) on big oil is not a good idea. We’ll pay for it at the pumps and we can’t afford that now.” Plus with our jobs problem there is the added leverage of declaring “it will hurt jobs too.” Am I wrong here or do these warnings smack of for-lack-of-a-better-word “extortion” because the definition for that fits: “The practice of obtaining something, esp. money, through force or threats.” Regular citizens in commercials or not, big oil pays for those “warnings” to be aired. Raising prices at the pump is the threat if we the people continue to pursue cutting subsidies to big oil.

How about force? Oil companies just arbitrarily raise prices across the board for their profit. Oh we might find a 10 to 15 cent per gallon variance at this pump or that but that’s it. We’re forced to pay the price. There is no “taking business elsewhere.” Outside of buying an old diesel car and filling it with dollar store veggie oil, we’re forced to pay big bucks for hybrid cars, electric cars, etc. too. And I can already see our U.S. automakers falling behind because our mindset is stuck on petro. U.S. automakers were punished for producing gas guzzlers that the public kept demanding. Meanwhile we allow foreign automakers to unveil their cheap all electric cars here. Enter Mitsubishi: http://i.mitsubishicars.com/?cid=PS_100611_GoogleiMiev_201110&gclid=CO2AxdzeiawCFUYBQAodQEf2mA.

The powers that be no longer represent us when we read about enormous profits for Exxon/Shell knowing we subsidized them dearly with nothing for us in return. We’ll see alternatives like algae fuel when big oil decides we’ll see it even though Exxon admitted long ago:

The world faces a significant challenge to supply the energy required for economic development and improved standards of living while managing greenhouse gas emissions and the risks of climate change,” said Emil Jacobs, vice president of research and development at Exxon Mobil Research and Engineering Co. “It’s going to take integrated solutions and the development of all commercially viable energy sources, improved energy efficiency and effective steps to curb emissions. It is also going to include the development of new technology.

I posted that Exxon admission in a blog March, 2010, http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/2010/03/exxon-mobil-and-algae-biofuel-research-wonders-never-cease/.

See the date of the link for that quote–2009. Nothing new in commercially viable energy sources has been introduced yet. There has been nothing but stalling on that front. Now the XL Pipeline that will carry oil that burns 6 times dirtier is causing controversy as it should while most GOP contenders for 2012 don’t “think” humans and our pollution are affecting climate change. Someone needs to let them know Exxon let that cat-out-of-the-bag long ago.

http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2009/07/14/14greenwire-exxon-sinks-600m-into-algae-based-biofuels-in-33562.html

http://www.becker-posner-blog.com/2011/05/the-us-tax-subsidies-for-oil-companiesposner.html

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Sweltering Heat Worldwide as U.S. House Tacks Anti-Environmental Riders to Budget Bills.

Headlines from around the globe show nothing but sweltering heat.

 From the NOAA website:

 Heatwave sweeps across the U.S.

http://www.noaa.gov/heat/index.html

Europe’s heat wave hit earlier in June this year:

Heat wave has Europe Sweltering

http://www.torontosun.com/2011/06/28/heatwave-has-europe-sweltering

 Europe hit record highs just last year along with Russia!

 Record-Breaking 2010 Eastern European/Russian Heatwave

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110318091141.htm

As of today an estimated 10 million people already need humanitarian aid in eastern Africa but extreme drought conditions along the borders of Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia are exacerbating the situation.

Somalia drought forces more people into displacement camps

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2011/jun/28/somalia-drought-appeal-in-pictures

After suffering a tsunami, Japan hasn’t been spared. The final days of June in Japan were 6 degrees higher than the 30 year average:

Japan struggles to cope with heatwave, with 26 dead of heatstroke

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/japan/8645326/Japan-struggles-to-cope-with-heatwave-with-26-dead-of-heatstroke.html

Drought continues in SW Australia where rainfall in some places is at all time record lows:

Long-term dry conditions continue in southwest WA

http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought/drought.shtml

 And the cool weather of Northern Canada—not so much:

Heat scorches Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2011/07/17/cda-weather-heat.html

But instead of posting headline after headline across the earth, the Union of Concerned Scientists has a worldwide heat map:

http://www.climatehotmap.org/

One would think that in light of what the world is experiencing as far as climate change that our government would heed Mother Nature but new corporate lackeys in the House persist in adding anti-environmental riders to budget bills.

Most Anti-Environment House of Representatives in History Tries to Do More Damage

According to Frances Beinecke, of NRDC, and a barrage of email from my environmental charities our new U.S. House of Representatives is the worst on record for assaulting clean air, water, and our public lands.

Tea Party leaders in the House have dramatically stepped up their assault on America’s environmental and public health safeguards. Last week alone they used about 50 floor votes and more than 30 policy riders on spending bills to undermine the protections that keep our air safe, our water clean, and our public lands intact.

Another barrage of anti-environment bills is on its way. The upcoming debate in the full House on funding for the Environmental Protection Agency and the Interior Department will likely feature votes on even more policy riders designed to prevent the government from upholding basic environmental standards.

http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/fbeinecke/most_anti-environment_house_of.html

Clean water is specifically under attack by new house member (R) Ohio, Bob Gibbs according to the NY Times. He thinks there may be too many clean water regulations. Bob is a former hog farmer. An enlightening read from a former post of mine relative to the hog industry, particularly CAFOS, applies here. Smithfield Foods polluted waterways clear to the ocean with runoff from their hog industry. So we see where Bob the former hog farmer might be coming from. And reading what Bob had to say in an excerpt in the NY Times, it’s all about money first, pollution later.

http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/2006/12/spreading-pig-poo-who-knew/

http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2011/05/03/03greenwire-anti-environmental-house-freshman-leads-charge-98149.html

The problem is that Bob isn’t alone. It looks like there may be complicity among state’s leaders with the idea that water has too many regulations. Just the other morning I caught that little ticker on GMA that stated several states have failed to report clean water violations? Hmmm. Found the story by the AP on Yahoo.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Feds-in-dark-about-some-apf-2889953000.html?x=0&.v=1

My guess is that some of the under-reporting by states is due to problems with fracking for natural gas. Fracking is a drilling process that wastes millions of gallons of clean water to blast each well with enough pressure  to fracture dense shale to release natural gas. The water mixes with gases and chemicals and is toxic. This practice has been blamed for spoiling residential water wells due to leaching from the fractures. The process pollutes nearby streams and water areas also. Exxon claims they recycle some of the water but “some” isn’t all and when we’re dealing with millions of gallons of water in exchange for a fossil gas—it’s unconscienceable. Children die from lack of water everyday.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=13353997

Besides compromising or possibly depleting our clean water supplies, fracking and drilling are costing us our public lands leased to the oil/gas industry. The Bureau of Land Management is responsible for leases for drilling/fracking.

Ah, so now it’s clear why all those pesky WILD MUSTANG HORSES had to go. Thirty year-old laws protecting those horses were just brushed aside while helicopters were used for roundups into overcrowded conditions.  We were told wild mustangs were too numerous and destroying precious grasslands. But the BLM is leasing our public lands right from under us while we’re occupied with the economy. That land will never be the same.

http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/info/newsroom/2011/march/energy_publiclands_teleconf.html

http://wilderness.org/content/wild-lands-under-attack-budget-2011

The idea that it’s OK to keep forging ahead with filthy fossil fuel  as long as the fuel is our own is ludicrous and at least a decade old, a decade out of touch with the environment. By using fossil fuel we’re affecting other natural resources in the worst way.  We’re invading areas that we hold dear, tainting both water and land, and destroying animal/plant life in the process. We can’t drink natural gas or oil and that’s basically the tradeoff.  Without water we die. Without gas/oil –we’re inconvenienced. The U.S. House doesn’t have life’s best interests at all.

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Exxon Mobil and Algae Biofuel Research; Wonders Never Cease

I’m really behind on this front. I recently caught an Exxon Mobil commercial where a researcher claimed he had been growing algae for years. I almost did a dance as the commercial went on to say the biggest oil company, one that has in the past adamantly claimed they are only in the business of oil, is investing heavily in algae as a viable and sustainable biofuel of the future. Well, the commercial may be new, but an article from the NY Times from July last year enlightened its readers that Exxon has joined “a biotech company, Synthetic Genomics Inc., to research and develop next-generation biofuels produced from sunlight, water and waste carbon dioxide by photosynthetic pond scum.” That is a major strategy change. Has Exxon seen the light environmental or the light relative to lost Navy contracts for Honeywell-based algae fuels?

At first I thought the Rockefellers finally leaned on Exxon enough to move forward.
And then I wondered if Exxon garnered the Navy contracts for algae biofuels for their jets? No that was Solyzyme using Honeywell based technology that got the Navy contract last year. http://green.venturebeat.com/2009/09/25/navy-taps-solazyme-to-make-jet-fuel-out-of-algae/.

At any rate, the lost Navy contract may have been a wakeup call for Exxon. The Navy is moving forward on replacing jet fuel. Then it will be commercial airliners, then cars, then…If Exxon isn’t in the alternative game, it could become a dinosaur.

The Navy must have been impressed with the algae. It’s planning on producing its own now. So much for a recurring contract. http://www.physorg.com/news185521814.html.

Let’s face it. It’s a heck of a lot easier and cheaper letting pond scum do its thing. As fast as the scum is harvested, it’s on it’s way to producing more, not so with drilling anymore. Oil that is available is harder and harder to get, and poses hazards in the form of oil spills along our coastlines.

In any event the best part of the article for me was this from Exxon Mobil:

The world faces a significant challenge to supply the energy required for economic development and improved standards of living while managing greenhouse gas emissions and the risks of climate change,” said Emil Jacobs, vice president of research and development at Exxon Mobil Research and Engineering Co. “It’s going to take integrated solutions and the development of all commercially viable energy sources, improved energy efficiency and effective steps to curb emissions. It is also going to include the development of new technology.

Did Exxon Mobil just admit greenhouse gas emissions are relevant to risks of climate change? It sounded like it to me.

Read: http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2009/07/14/14greenwire-exxon-sinks-600m-into-algae-based-biofuels-in-33562.html.

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Visible Signs of Oil from Exxon Valdez Spill Still Found on Beaches

World Wildlife Foundation’s newsletter “Focus” reported that scientists are still finding visible signs of oil from the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill. It’s been 20 years! You might be thinking, “But how many oil spills are there, really?” The list of oil spills from 1967 to 1991 on NOAA’s website is extensive considering they only list significant spills. The criteria are 100,000 gallons or more for international spills, and 10,000 gallons or more spills happening in the U.S. The chart of oil spills from the NOAA is in barrels. There are 42 gallons in a barrel. http://response.restoration.noaa.gov/book_shelf/26_spilldb.pdf.

The 25 years between 67 and 91 saw a lot of oil go into our oceans. Luckily, the past 20 years has seen a decrease in tanker spills worldwide. The Exxon Valdez was so horrible; the attention caused a marked improvement in reducing accident rates for oil tankers. Unfortunately, the concern wasn’t so much for the environment or wildlife as it was for the financial liabilities from a spill. A shame, since we know quite well that oil companies do indeed recover financially. We know what big oil’s net earnings are these days. The irony is that wildlife and the environment doesn’t seem to recover quickly at all, or ever for that matter.

Thirteen hundred miles of Alaskan coastline was spoiled from the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
Communities and fisheries were ruined. Four thousand otters died and at least one population of orca whales has yet to recover. Local livelihoods were destroyed, and many wildlife and fish populations are still depleted, while Alaska’s economy lost millions, according to the same newsletter.

It’s good to know we learned from that spill. Tanker spillage is drastically down but we haven’t licked the problem altogether. The same environmental research information from a consulting firm that reported tanker oil spills are way down, also said that pipelines have taken up the slack. It stated: “Since 1985, U.S. pipelines have spilled more oil than tankers and barges combined. Since 1991, pipelines have annually spilled 37 times as much as tankers. The change in the proportion U.S. pipeline spillage is largely due to the fact that since 1990, pipelines transport more oil across more miles than water carriers.” And that infrastructure is old and getting older. Luckily, we’re spilling less and less over the past two decades, but as the report went on to say:

While the statistics show encouraging downward trends, there is no room for complacency. An ill-timed oil spill that occurs in a sensitive location, regardless of spill size, can cause devastating damage to natural environments, property, and business, and, occasionally, to human lives. Aging pipeline and facility infrastructures,
as well as aging vessel fleets, may be ticking time bombs, especially as they become subjected to increasing oil throughput and transport in future years. Increased international attention to tanker safety has had a positive influence that is sorely needed in other vessel categories and for non-vessel sources, particularly pipelines.

Oil is a leaky business both on land and sea. We’re faced with more oil exploration in the sensitive areas spoken about here. In 2007, Bush lifted a longstanding executive ban on off shore oil leasing in Bristol Bay, Alaska. According to WWF’s newsletter, Bristol Bay is known as America’s fish basket that contributes $2.2 billion to the economy annually. It is near the Bering Sea, “which produces nearly half of America’s wild seafood.” Do you like seafood? Consider Gulf shrimp also, since the recent Senate version of the energy bill includes more oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. We’re messing with our food supply when we go for the crude. We endanger wild life, and the economy of the regions at risk for “oil spillage.” Right now the U.S. Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia vacated Bush’s plans for oil leasing in Bristol Bay. Help keep it that way. Contact your representatives and tell them to limit oil drilling, especially in areas that have long been protected FOR GOOD REASON. Besides, we only have 3% of the world’s oil supply, and use 25%. This horse is not going to win the race this time. The math dictates we must find replacements for our energy needs or forever be dependent on nations that, well, just don’t like us.

http://www.environmental-research.com/publications/pdf/spill_statistics/paper4.pdf

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Exxon Mobil’s New Environmental Ad

I knew what my blog was going to be today when I caught the new Exxon Mobil advertisement for the ENVIRONMENT over the weekend. I stopped dead in my tracks. I almost fell over. Of course no one around me understood all the fuss I made. We’re-in-the-business-of-oil-not-the-environment-Exxon Mobil was publicly announcing investment in a cleaner future. Unbelievable!

I immediately thought of the Rockefeller’s public announcement to Exxon Mobil to contribute to alternative energy sources for the environment. It was a little over a month ago. Here it is, a short time later and a commercial appears on TV from Exxon Mobil relative to technological advances to help the environment. It was a prime spot on CNN too. I heard something about cars of the future running on something other than gas. To tell the truth I was so stunned that Exxon had this commercial out, I had to go to Exxon’s website to see for myself.

It was a pretty easy presentation of facts done with videos. The videos are just enough to let everyone know Exxon is working for the environment although 2 presentations out of 3 are for same ole, same ole oil and natural gas. The first video is about drilling for oil and how new technology will allow them to drill less wells. Not such a good point. The second is about compressing natural gas. Natural gas may burn clean but the way natural gas drilling takes a toll on the surrounding area is devastating. The 3rd presentation is the charm. It’s about lithium ion batteries and their use in hybrid cars of the future. This is very good news.

So Exxon Mobil is giving up the attitude problem and finally investing in the environment. Hopefully it’s more than the other oil companies. It always sounds good that they are investing millions, but we have to remember these companies make profits in the billions so the percentages invested for the environment are ridiculously low. In mid-March I did a blog about the top oil companies and what they actually did contribute to the environment and Exxon got a big fat zero. So things are looking up from there.

http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/2008/04/30/rockefellers-pressure-exxon-mobil-to-invest-in-alternative-energy/

http://www.media.exxonmobil.com/media/microsite/index1.html

http://www.blogsmonroe.com/world/2008/03/18/how-much-does-big-oil-really-invest-in-alternative-energy/

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Rockefellers pressure Exxon Mobil to invest in alternative energy

I just loved this one. Not long ago I wrote a blog that showed the percentage of money all top 5 oil companies contribute to alternative energy for the world’s future, and there was Exxon Mobil with a big fat zero, and an impudent attitude that they are in the oil business period. Well, Exxon Mobil sprouted from Standard Oil, you know Rockefeller Standard Oil. And that family has a very different take on environmental issues.

This I know personally. My husband and I visited the Rockefeller mansion and estate in Sleepy Hollow, New York not 2 years ago. And yes, it was Halloween season, and it is the real Sleepy Hollow on the edge of the Hudson. Lovely little town by the way. Anyway, the Rockefeller’s were environmentalists way before that word became common. If I recall right, they actually bought the land across the Hudson River, in Orangeburg County, just so the cliffs and hills on the other side didn’t get all built up because it was in their view and they didn’t want the panorama destroyed. It’s still not build up from what I can see. These people did not live as extravagantly as we would think and were not prone to buying bigger, better, or newer on a whim. They considered the environment in their plans.

The estate is like a botanical garden that was restored from a wasted rolling hillside over-grazed by sheep owned by Dutch settlers. The Rockefellers brought in all types of flora and fauna and turned this place into a little Eden. If you ever go to Sleep Hollow visit this estate, and many other very interesting and historical spots nearby. Of course going at Halloween time is exceptional. Make it across the Tappanzee bridge to Orangeburg and some really quaint little villages near water’s edge. The country’s second largest mall is over there toosorryI digress.

So as environmentalists, the Rockefellers, whose family still owns a good portion of what is now Exxon stock and as the article on MSN states, “like to consider themselves the longest continuing shareholders,” went public with their complaint to Exxon Mobil. The family wants Exxon to buy into the future of alternative energy. Don’t you just love it?

The article went on to say that “Peter O’Neill, who heads the Rockefeller Family committee dealing with Exxon Mobil and is the great-great-grandson of John D. Rockefeller” thinks Exxon is fighting the last war and not seeing the new war ahead. O’Neill also stated that he had the support of 80 percent of family members. That’s a lot of clout. Remember my blog that the hypothetical “Chicken Littles” are getting bigger and with more clout? Well this family is pretty mighty. Exxon Mobil was formed by the combination of two offspring of John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Trust. It is now the world’s largest publicly traded oil company. The family doesn’t quite know how much of the company they still own collectively.

The best part is that the Rockefellers are eyeballing Exxon’s leadership. The article stated: “Members of the family said they have sponsored four proxy resolutions this year that raised concerns about the company’s leadership under Chairman and Chief Executive Rex Tillerson. They also said they have spent years behind the scenes prodding the company to change its approach to the oil business.” And now they’ve gone public”because they believe future energy will come from sources other than oil and natural gas, and say the company needs to move more quickly into sustainable technology to secure its long-term viability.”

Do ya think? It’s called foresight, something that is curiously lacking in some of today’s biggest industries that I’ve been complaining about for a while now. Small businesses can’t afford to ignore trends, sustainability, or the competition, why should the big guys? Ditto for utilities that keep pushing for fossil fuel, then last minute can’t afford quick changes and pass costs on to us! Logic dictates a portion of net gains should be invested in the newest energy trend with more and more invested as that trend takes hold, and while the other side of the investment in fossil fuels winds down, eventually switching over completely to alternative energy to continue the wealth. It looks like greed got in the way here, and the Rockefellers don’t like it. I’d be a little worried about my attitude if I were Rex.

Read the whole story:
Read the whole story: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24387781/wid/18298287/

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How Much Does Big Oil Really Invest in Alternative Energy?

This was fairly easy information to find as far as the big 3 American oil companies. I did the math for percentages. BP isonthe listbecause they bought Amoco. Shell is on it because Royal Dutch Shell has an American operation, and holds leases in Alaska under heavy protest against drilling in delicate habitat.

Here’s how it looks below. The results are what I expected, a pretty dismal picture. But I ended up reading many of the oil company websites, and what their opponents wrote as well. It comes down to the fact that they are, after all, oil companies and intend to stay that way. Theyare pretty much throwing some money at alternatives to look good while othersreally seem in earnest and are investing for the environment. It’s Conoco-Phillips. I’m going to do a blog on them and a really big move they are making with Tyson Foods. I am impressed. All of these oil companies are at the upper echelon of earnings worldwide! They can afford to invest.

Exxon Mobil, one of the biggest oil companies in the world had net profit earnings in 2007 of $40.6 billion. http://money.cnn.com/2008/03/04/news/international/bc.apfn.eu.fin.com.britain.bp.ap/

“Exxon Mobil, meanwhile, dismisses renewable energy and puts its record profits into shareholder dividends” http://energypriorities.com/entries/2005/12/bp_alternative_energy_unit.php

Chevron had a net profit in 2007 of $18.7 billion. http://www.chevron.com/news/press/release/?id=2008-02-01
Chevron invested $300 million per year for alternative energy sources, which is .016% or 16 thousandths of their profit.

Conoco-Phillips had a net profit in 2007 of $11.9 billion. It fell from $15.5 billion last year. http://www.wtopnews.com/?nid=111&sid=1331478. Conoco-Phillips said that investments in alternative energy would be around $150 million. That’s .012% or 12 thousandths of their profit. http://money.cnn.com/2007/04/10/news/companies/pluggedin_gunther_conocophillips.fortune/index.htm?postversion=2007041109

BP had net profit income in 2007 of $20.8 billion.
http://money.cnn.com/2008/03/04/news/international/bc.apfn.eu.fin.com.britain.bp.ap/ BP “may invest up to $8 billion over 10 years that’s 800 million per year, and very generous for an oil company. But the article went on to say: Meanwhile, their budget for conventional oil and gas projects is almost $15 billion per year.” http://energypriorities.com/entries/2005/12/bp_alternative_energy_unit.php. Eight hundred million dollars per year is a lot, but it’s only .038% or thirty eight thousandths of their profit income. http://www.bp.com/sectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9021952&contentId=7040761

Dutch Royal Shell had net profits in 2007 of $27.5 billion.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=511387&in_page_id=1770. John Hofmeister, president of Shell answered when asked how much Shell was investing in alternatives fuels: “I’d say about $1 billion over the last five years. We’ll continue to spend at that level. That’s $200 million per year and only .007% or 7 thousandths of their net profits. http://www.shell.com/home/Framework?siteId=us-en&FC3=/us-en/html/iwgen/energy_security/faq/faq.html#4.

A quick summary gives us a total of over $119 billion dollars ($119,500,000,000.00) in net profits among all oil companies listed. Their investment for alternative energy is almost $1 billion dollars ($1,450,000,000.00) annually. That’s .012% or 12 thousandths of their combined income-not a heck of a lot, but hey, we’ll take it.And the next time somebody tries to tell you how much the oil industry isinvestingin alternative energy, you won’t be naive.

Here is a pretty good website that gives a snapshot of the top oil companies also:
http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2007/07/money_guzzlers.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2007/dec/11/oil.bp

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day; Savor the Green!

St. Patrick’s Day is a good, green holiday that didn’t turn out well for many when festivities began on Friday for this holiday. Savannah, Georgia had terrible thunderstorms that knocked out power to at least 150,000 customers and blackened the streets in Savannah, home to the second largest St. Patty’s Day celebration in the country. At least it was that large back in the 80′s. I was there.

Apparently that storm was the result of conditions that also produced a tornado that hit downtown Atlanta in a 200 yd. wide swath, 6 miles long at 130 mph!!! It never happened before. All I could think of: What if something like this hit downtown New York or Chicago? I think of a domino effect on the buildings. And I’m back to the analogy between terrorism and Mother Nature. Both are extremely destructive, but one always trumps the other, trumps everything, and it’sthe weather. Extreme weather kills randomly and is getting worse, and more erratic. It’s caused enough destruction in Florida that insurance premiums are outrageous. Even though the debate continues about our responsibility in global warming, it’s not illogical to think we’re polluting way beyond bounds. Our demands for oil and food increase yearly as our populations grow. It is plausible that it is affecting climate conditions that many scientists admit have happened before to our world, BUT NEVER AT THE RATE IT IS PROGRESSING NOW.

This is the point I tried to make to someone I got into an argument with at a bar (Clamdiggers) during Friday night happy hour. The Irishwere already getting tuned up and willappreciate this. It was a beautiful afternoon on Friday. I stopped with friends to a really crowded and loud bar. Good thing it was loud in there, because before I finished one drink, my friend announced to 2 guys next to us that we were environmentalists. All I could think was: “Oh no!” I don’t want to argue with anyone about that.

I ended up in a face-to-face argument with a guy who was proud to be a polluter, who had already got into it with another friend of mine who owns a Prius. He didn’t know what he was talking about relative to electric cars, and then announced to me that the oil industry contributes the most money to alternative energy research. I know BP has invested, and Conoco Philips, but do all of them investnot Exxon Mobil? I caught parts of his argument while he was in my face asking if I was naive. It ended when his buddy started laughing as he realized the steady degradation of events that took place in a matter of 20 minutes from smiling to yelling, and said he was dragging his workmate out. Well the argumentative one put on a Lion’s jacket, which just invited my sport’s minded friends to jeer: “That explains it all,” where they proceeded to do the loser “L” at him. I had one more cocktail and left. The best made intentions can just go awry, can’t they? My friends and I started with lively conversation about classic poets and novelists. I was heading toward limericks in honor of St. Patrick’s day and all just ran amuck and got rude.

That’s why there was no blog Friday night, but I did decide to investigate thepolluter’s argument. How much do our oil companies invest in alternative energy? It’s a good question. I caught the BP commercial about investing in alternative energy. I’m finishing a post for tomorrow that shows how much American oil companies contribute to alternative energies, and also each company’s current net earnings. I know BP stands for British Petroleum, but they bought our Amoco in 98, I think.

It’s one thing to hear statements that the oil industry is investing millions in alternative energy, and like polluter guy, assume it’s a lot, probably more than anyone else. But since I did accounting, I want to know what percentage is invested as compared to net earnings in the billions and climbing? I’ve already seen some of the numbers. It’s a pretty paltry picture compared to the wealth streaming in from oil. So, Stay tuned.

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Polar Bears vs. Big Oil; Guess Who’s Going to Die?

“We were in fully open ocean, dozens of miles from the ice pack, in a sort of half-fog at what passes for dusk around here, when a 10 foot wide chunk of ice flowed past. It was visible for maybe 15 seconds – the only ice we’d seen for days. On it: a polar bear, just drifting wherever the ocean wanted to take him” http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/feb2008/2008-02-11-01.asp.

I quoted that to say this. As the polar bear waits to get on the Endangered Species List, a decision that comes from the Department of the Interior, the polar bear’s habitat continues to disintegrate. It is practically wide-open seas according to the same article, and “the polar ice cap has reached its lowest extent in recorded history.” The summer Arctic may be ice-free as soon as 2040 and polar bear populations will decrease by two thirds. Out of an estimated 22,000 bears, that means over 14,500 polar bears will die. The one that floated by the Coast Guard Cutter is just one example that they won’t be afforded a quick death.

Many animals are at the mercy of the Department of the Interior lately, the wolves, and now the polar bears. The polar bear’s biggest and most volatile habitat is in the Chukchi Sea. Despite an outcry from native Eskimos, environmental groups, animal welfare organizations, a lawsuit, and citizens from around the world, the Chukchi Oil leases are going through as per the Dept. of the Interior. Royal Dutch Shell, and Conoco Phillips, you know the oil company that is supposedly investing in a green future like BP, plan to bid on the leases.

According to a Wall Street Journal Article Conoco Phillips said that “listing the polar bear as threatened ‘is not warranted’ based on the bears’ current population numbers. Listing them as threatened ‘will have an adverse impact on the oil and gas industry and people that live in the Arctic.’ Well I feel real sorry for the oil and gas industry, don’t you? Exxon Mobil netted $75000 per minute in 2006 and we should feel for the oil and gas industry and the heck with the polar bears? We’ll be on that soon-to-be extinct list too if ignoring ethics in favor of money, money, money keeps up.

The idea here is prevention. There are 22,000 bears, the Arctic is already open water so bear numbers will soon be declining rapidly without frozen land to walk and hunt. The Dept. of the Interior should put the bear on the list immediately to stop a catastrophic loss of most of that population, but waits instead using the bear’s current numbers to validate the delay. Meanwhile, the Dept. of Interior rushes to OK the auction of some 30 million acres in one the most pristine parts of the sea, a major polar bear habitat, for oil drilling?

I’m sorry but in a business situation the Department of the Interior’s single authority in both the protection of a clearly endangered species of animal like the polar bear and the very lucrative sale of the polar bear’s habitat for the purpose of drilling for oil presents a conflict of interest. And the delay in adding the polar bear to the Endangered List is an obvious morally unethical decision by a dubious Secy. of Interior, Dirk Kempthorne.

For Kempthorne, Conoco Phillips, and anyone else like President Bush that doesn’t appear to understand the English language, the word endangered means: exposed to danger, in peril. ENDANGERED DOES NOT MEAN ALREADY DEAD! The polar bear is in danger, and definitely in peril with a ruthless administration like this one.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120208255421639257.html?mod=googlenews_wsj.
http://world-wire.com/news/0802060002.html


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