Sharon Kelly

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Blog entryAs Trump Leaves Permian Oilfield, Industry Insiders Question If 2020 Bust Marks Texas Oil's Last Big Boom Sharon Kelly03 days 11 hours ago
Blog entryFollowing Lawsuit, Formosa Agrees to Hold Major Construction on One of Largest Planned US Plastics Plants Until 2021 Julie Dermansky...01 week 6 days ago
Blog entryIn the Shadow of Shuttered Philadelphia Refinery, Neighbors Recall Those Lost to Decades of Pollution Sharon Kelly04 weeks 7 hours ago
Blog entryEnergy Transfer Launches Appeals Following Court Order to Shut Down Dakota Access Pipeline Sharon Kelly04 weeks 7 hours ago
Blog entryCourt Throws out Energy Transfer’s ‘Racketeering’ Claims Against Dakota Access Pipeline Opponents Sharon Kelly04 weeks 10 hours ago
Blog entry‘We Can't Sit on the Sidelines and Be Climate Deniers,’ Dominion VP Warns Natural Gas Industry Sharon Kelly01 month 12 hours ago
Blog entryPhiladelphia Explosion One in String of 'Near Miss' Accidents at Refineries Using Deadly Chemical Sharon Kelly01 month 1 week ago
Blog entryAmid COVID-19 Pandemic, Some Pipeline Projects Push Forward While Others Falter Nationwide Sharon Kelly01 month 1 week ago
Blog entryNewly Revealed Emails Highlight Coziness and Favors Between Local Officials, Jordan Cove LNG Backers Sharon Kelly01 month 1 week ago
Blog entryLouisiana Activists Charged with Felonies After Delivering Box of Formosa Plastic Pollution to Lobbyists Julie Dermansky...01 month 1 week ago
Blog entryShell's Falcon Pipeline Dogged by Issues with Drilling and Permit Uncertainty During Pandemic Sharon Kelly01 month 2 weeks ago
ProfileSharon Kelly Sharon Kelly01 month 2 weeks ago
Blog entryFormosa Plastics Opponents Ask Louisiana Governor to Veto Bill Over Harsh Sentencing Concerns Julie Dermansky...01 month 3 weeks ago
Blog entryFracking Can Contaminate Drinking Water, Has Made Some Water Supplies "Unusable," Long-Awaited EPA Study Concludes Sharon Kelly01 month 3 weeks ago
Blog entryOil, Gas, Petrochemical Financial Woes Predate Pandemic — And Will Continue After, Despite Bailouts, Report Finds Sharon Kelly03 months 3 weeks ago
Blog entryWest Texas Fracking Boom Sputters as Apache Corp. Admits Firm Lost Billions, Cites Alpine High 'Challenges' Sharon Kelly03 months 3 weeks ago
Blog entryProtections for Rare and Endangered Animals Under Threat from Permian Basin Drilling Industry Sharon Kelly03 months 3 weeks ago
Blog entry'Biggest Oil Find' of 2016 Puts Crown Jewel Texas Oasis in Crosshairs for Fracking Sharon Kelly03 months 3 weeks ago
Blog entryStock Market Turmoil Undermines Claimed Energy Dominance Benefits of US Shale Drilling Sharon Kelly03 months 3 weeks ago
Blog entryDespite Disappointing Returns, Oil Driller Pushes Ahead with Fracking Near Rare Texas Wildlands Sharon Kelly03 months 3 weeks ago
Blog entryCEO of Major Shale Oil Company 'Has Second Thoughts' on Fracking Rush, Wall Street Journal Reports Sharon Kelly03 months 3 weeks ago
Blog entryMeet the Climate Science Deniers Who Downplayed COVID-19 Risks Sharon Kelly03 months 3 weeks ago
Blog entryFederal Judge Tosses Dakota Access Pipeline Permits, Orders Full Environmental Review Sharon Kelly04 months 2 weeks ago
Blog entryCoal Industry Group Asks Federal Lawmakers to Cut Funding for Black Lung Program, Citing COVID-19 Sharon Kelly04 months 2 weeks ago
Blog entryExposé Shows Rise of Heartland Institute’s Climate Denial Efforts Overseas, Using Dark Money and a YouTuber Sharon Kelly04 months 4 weeks ago

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Exposé Shows Rise of Heartland Institute’s Climate Denial Efforts Overseas, Using Dark Money and a YouTuber

Read time: 9 mins
Heartland Institute proposal

A recent German news report has shed light on the inner workings of the Heartland Institute’s international efforts to sow doubts about climate science using the dark money group Donors Trust. Part of those efforts include the climate science-denying organization touting its newest representative, a young German YouTube “influencer,” Naomi Seibt, whom Heartland markets as the deniers’ answer to breakout youth climate activist Greta Thunberg.

The U.S.-based Heartland Institute receives millions of dollars a year to fund its climate denial efforts and is looking to expand them in Germany, according to the undercover joint investigation by German outlets CORRECTIV and Frontal21.

1982 American Petroleum Institute Report Warned Oil Workers Faced 'Significant' Risks from Radioactivity

Read time: 10 mins
radiation warning sign at Union Carbide uranium mill in Rife, CO, in 1972

Back in April last year, the Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency decided it was “not necessary” to update the rules for toxic waste from oil and gas wells. Torrents of wastewater flow daily from the nation’s 1.5 million active oil and gas wells and the agency’s own research has warned it may pose risks to the country's drinking water supplies.

On Tuesday, a major new investigative report published by Rolling Stone and authored by reporter Justin Nobel delves deep into the risks that the oil and gas industry’s waste — much of it radioactive — poses to the industry’s own workers and to the public.

After a Decade of Fracking, Billions of Dollars Lost and a Climate in Crisis

Read time: 13 mins
Partially destroyed house in New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy

As 2020 begins, the impacts of climate change have become increasingly clear around the world. The new year started amid devastating wildfires, tied to the worst droughts Australia has experienced in hundreds of years, which encircled much of the continent. So far, 29 people have been reported dead. A University of Sydney professor estimated the number of animals killed likely tops one billion.

Today's climate impacts have been shaped heavily by actions taken during the last 10 years, particularly in the U.S., where the climate benefits of coal power plant retirements were undermined by the rise of natural gas. Global carbon emissions had leveled off in the middle of the last decade, but began to climb again in 2017, breaking records anew each year since.

Oil Industry Set Agenda During Climate Summit Meeting with Big Greens

Read time: 9 mins
Pratima Rangarajan, CEO of OGCI Climate Investments

Last week, as climate activist Greta Thunberg addressed the United Nations Climate Action Summit, invited leaders from major environmental groups spent their day listening to the leaders of fossil fuel companies discuss how they want to respond to the climate crisis.

Depending on which room you were in, you would have heard two very different messages.

Fossil Fuel Ad Campaigns Emphasize 'Positives' After Climate Science Denial PR Lands Industry in Hot Seat

Read time: 7 mins
Oil rig at sunset over Huntington Beach, California

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.  

Public relations experts keep a careful eye on the multitude of ways that PR can go wrong: tracking the year’s biggest “PR blunders,” assessing flopped ads for lessons learned, and noting when to remain silent and when to circulate a particular point of view.

PR blunders have been blamed for causing stock prices to dip, powerful executives to lose jobs, and occasionally even forced public apologies from PR representatives themselves.

But it takes a special kind of PR nightmare — a particularly unusual kind in the U.S., with its broad protections for free speech — to prompt investigations by state attorneys general into whether a company’s public messaging was so misleading and harmful that it should be considered illegal.

That is the situation facing one of the world’s most powerful industries, on one of the most consequential issues of our time, climate change. The subject of these investigations isn’t the direct harm from the fossil fuel industry’s actions, it’s the ways that companies communicated about their actions, and how that misled investors or the public.

And right on cue, the fossil fuel industry's PR professionals have been stepping in to help reshape the narratives propping up their bottom lines.

Fracking and Shale Drilling Caused Spike in Climate-Warming Methane Pollution, Says New Study

Read time: 8 mins
Flaring in Permian Basin Shale with sunflowers

Climate-changing pollution reached unprecedented levels in 2018. That's both judged against the last 60 years of modern measurements and against 800,000 years of data culled from ice cores, according to the U.S. government’s State of the Climate report, which was published this week with the American Meteorological Society.

That pollution creates a greenhouse effect that is over 42 percent stronger than it was in 1990, the report added.

And while carbon dioxide hit a new level last year, it isn't the only climate-changing gas that’s on the rise globally. Pollution of the powerful but short-lived greenhouse gas methane also climbed in 2018, showing an increase “higher than the average growth rate over the past decade,” the report adds.

A new Cornell University study published today in the scientific journal Biogeosciences helps to explain what sparked the surge in those methane concentrations, both here in the U.S. and around the world.

One big culprit: shale drilling and fracking.

Teaching Kids About Climate Science Leads to More Climate-Concerned Parents on Right and Left, New Study Finds

Read time: 5 mins
Kids peer over insects to identify them

Educating kids about climate change can help their parents learn too, a scientific study published today in the journal Nature Climate Change concludes — even when parents initially doubted that climate change was cause for concern.

This study tells us that we can educate children about climate change and they’re willing to learn, which is exciting because studies find that many adults are resistant to climate education, because it runs counter to their personal identities,” said Danielle Lawson, lead author and a Ph.D. student at North Carolina State University. “It also highlights that children share that information with their parents, particularly if they’re given tools to facilitate communication — and that parents are willing to listen.”

Oil Companies Will Be Bad Investments Within Five Years, Predicts Survey of European Fund Managers

Read time: 6 mins
Oil derricks at sunset

European fund managers are casting an increasingly skeptical eye towards the oil industry, concluding that the industry’s financial future looks grim, according to a new survey published by a London-based organization today.

Just 18 percent of the responding fund managers, including representatives of firms based in the UK, France, Spain, and Italy, predicted that “oil companies will be good investments if their business is still focused on fossil fuels in five years’ time,” according to the survey, published by the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association (UKSIF) and the Climate Change Collaboration.

‘All Rhetoric and No Action’: Oil Giants Spent $1 Billion on Climate Lobbying and Ads Since Paris Pact, Says Report

Read time: 7 mins
climate policy grades for five major oil companies

A new report by a British think tank estimates that since the 2015 Paris Agreement, the world’s five largest listed oil and gas companies spent more than $1 billion lobbying to prevent climate change regulations while also running public relations campaigns aimed at maintaining public support for climate action.

Combined, the companies spend roughly $200 million a year pushing to delay or alter climate and energy rules, particularly in the U.S. — while spending $195 million a year “on branding campaigns that suggest they support an ambitious climate agenda,” according to InfluenceMap, a UK-based non-profit that researches how corporations influence climate policy.

Global Banks, Led by JPMorgan Chase, Invested $1.9 Trillion in Fossil Fuels Since Paris Climate Pact

Read time: 6 mins
JPMorgan Chase building in New York City

A report published today names the banks that have played the biggest recent role in funding fossil fuel projects, finding that since 2016, immediately following the Paris Agreement's adoption, 33 global banks have poured $1.9 trillion into financing climate-changing projects worldwide.

The top four banks that invested most heavily in fossil fuel projects are all based in the U.S., and include JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citi, and Bank of America. Royal Bank of Canada, Barclays in Europe, Japan’s MUFG, TD Bank, Scotiabank, and Mizuho make up the remainder of the top 10.

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