Exposing Exxon’s Elaborate Escapades in Eluding the Electorate

Exxon (and other oil companies) knew all about the harm their products cause to the environment 40 years ago, yet they kept making profits despite threatening all life on Earth. This is some real-life cartoon villain stuff that sounds made up, but it’s real and it happened. In fact, it’s still happening. Without a doubt it’s bad that oil companies are profiting off of the death of the planet. The good news is that people are exposing the evil behaviour of these massive corporations then using this information to fight the corporations. Remember protesting works.

Unearthed reporters posed as recruitment consultants looking to hire a Washington DC lobbyist for a major client and approached McCoy and Easley for meetings over Zoom. During the meetings, the undercover reporter asked about Exxon’s current and historical lobbying on environmental issues.

It is important to note that neither McCoy nor Easley were necessarily seeking a new job, but each was willing to talk and provide information to the purported recruiters.

Over the coming days, Unearthed, will also reveal:

  • Claims that Exxon covertly fought to prevent a ban on toxic chemicals
  • How Exxon is using its playbook on climate change to head-off regulations on plastic

California Congressman, Rep. Ro Khanna, told Unearthed: “For decades, fossil fuel companies have lied to the public, to regulators, and to Congress about the true danger posed by their products. Today’s tape only proves our knowledge that the industry’s disinformation campaign is alive and well. In the coming months, I plan to ask the CEOs of Exxon, Chevron, and other fossil fuel companies to come testify before my Environment subcommittee. We can no longer allow Exxon, or any other companies, to prevent our collective action on the climate crisis.”

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Given the IPCC Report, Let’s Ban Oil Propaganda

industry

Today the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released data that proves the world has rapidly warmed 1.1 degrees Celsius higher than pre-industrial levels, and is now careening toward 1.5 degrees. They are calling it a red alert for the planet. Obviously this isn’t good news.

The oil industry along with the oil-consuming automobile companies spend billions every year telling us to spend more to kill the planet. This should stop. Over at the National Obseror they ask a very simple question: “are we letting fossil fuel companies sell us our own demise?” They propose an all out ban on adversting oil and gas consumption like we did with tabacco.

Advertising works. That’s why it’s a multibillion-dollar business, and it’s why oil, gas, car and airline companies spend as much as they do seeking our favour. According to one study, over a recent 30-year period, the world’s five biggest oil companies spent US$3.6 billion on ads specifically aimed at shoring up their reputation as green-friendly. Ads are one reason why gas-guzzling pickup trucks are so popular, even among those with no genuine need for them. As Quebec environmental group Équiterre found in a study released earlier this year, aggressive advertising helps to explain why light-duty vehicles — SUVs, pickups and vans — now account for 80 per cent of new vehicle sales in Canada, which in turn is a big reason greenhouse gas emissions from transportation are still rising. 

Because advertising matters so much to the fossil fuel corporations, it ought to matter to the rest of us, too

Read more.

Keystone XL is Dead, For Reals This Time

Standing Rock #DAPL
Protesting works!

The absolutely foolish plan to make a massive pipeline to transport a heavily subsidized non-renewable energy source is dead. It is really dead. We’ve heard before that the project is over, only for it to come back to life. Obama and Trudeau both worked hard to ensure that future generations would have to suffer the ecological damage done by the project, yet in the end it was volunteer activists who won.

The pipeline was meant to open nearly a decade ago, and thanks to the efforts of so many groups it never will. The opposition to the project started small and now it’s a movement that is hoping to block other illogical gifts to the oil industry.

Keep protesting, never give up!

It’s easy to forget now how unlikely the Keystone fight really was. Indigenous activists and Midwest ranchers along the pipeline route kicked off the opposition. When it went national, 10 years ago this summer, with mass arrests outside the White House, pundits scoffed. More than 90 percent of Capitol Hill “insiders” polled by The National Journal said the company would get its permit.

But the more than 1,200 people who were arrested in that protest helped galvanize a nationwide — even worldwide — movement that placed President Barack Obama under unrelenting pressure. Within a few months he’d paused the approval process, and in 2015 he killed the pipeline, deciding that it didn’t meet his climate test.

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Denmark: No More Oil from the North Sea

wind turbine

The largest oil producer in the European Union has banned all new oil and gas exploration in their territory. Denmark follows France and New Zealand in the banning of new exploration for destructive and climate-altering fossil fuels (who will be next?). The end of oil as a burnable resource is inevitable, and with so many developed nations banning fossil fuel cars and resource extraction the fate of oil is secured. Let’s hope we end the use of non-renewable resources even faster than planned!

Helene Hagel from Greenpeace Denmark described the parliamentary vote as “a watershed moment” that will allow the country to “assert itself as a green frontrunner and inspire other countries to end our dependence on climate-wrecking fossil fuels”.

She said: “This is a huge victory for the climate movement and all the people who have pushed for many years to make it happen.”

Read more.

The Importance of Mapping Fossil Fuel Companies

industry

The Corporate Mapping Project in Canada tries to connect the dots between corporations, organizations, and governmental bodies in regards to the oil and gas industry. Despite all evidence that the tar sands are horrible for the planet the Canadian taxpayer continues to subsidize the fossil fuel industry. Why?

That the answer the mapping project looks to help investigate. By showing the connections between corporate and political players we can expose anything from sketchy polices to blatant corruption. This project is great for researchers and economist trying to understand why Canada props up a dying (and lethal) industry.

You can see their list of the top 50 companies in terms of power and influence in Canada’s oil and gas industry.

We focus on “mapping” how power and influence play out in the oil, gas and coal industries of BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan. We will also map the wider connections that link Western Canada’s fossil fuel sector to other sectors of the economy (both national and global) and to other parts of society (governments and other public institutions, think tanks and lobby groups, etc).

Our mapping efforts are focused in four key areas:

  1. How are the people and companies that control fossil-fuel corporations organized as a network, and how does that network connect with other sectors of the Canadian and global economy? That is, how is economic power organized in and around the fossil-fuel sector?

  2. How does that economic power reach into political and cultural life, through elite networks, funding relationships, lobbying and mass-media advertising and messaging? What are the implications of such corporate influence for politics and society?

  3. How is corporate power wielded at ground level, from fossil-fuel extraction and transport right through to final consumption? If we follow a barrel of bitumen from its source to the end user, how does it affect the communities and environments all along the way? How and why do certain links along these commodity chains become flashpoints of intense political struggle, as we have seen particularly with pipeline projects?

  4. How can we build capacity for citizen monitoring of corporate power and influence, while expanding the space for democratic discussion?

Read more.

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