Food & Water Watch Defends People and Planet in 2022

Categories

Climate and Energy

Photo © Ken Schles
by Mia DiFelice

With each passing year, the stakes rise higher for clean water, safe food, and a livable climate. But with each passing year, Food & Water Watch gets stronger and our impact grows. 

That strength is only possible with our team of organizers, researchers, lawyers, policy analysts, and, of course, our members and volunteers. For the past seventeen years, Food & Water Watch has shown what’s possible with people power.

Our work has moved the needle on key issues, from national climate legislation to local fights against polluting corporations. We’re proud of all we’ve accomplished this year — especially these four victories in the fight to secure a livable future for all. 

1. We Stopped Manchin’s Dirty Deal

Many Democrats were thrilled when Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) finally promised to support the Inflation Reduction Act, one of the landmark laws of the Biden Administration. But we soon learned that in return for his tie-breaking vote on the IRA, Manchin struck a dirty deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

That dirty deal would have fast-tracked fossil fuel projects across the country and gut a watershed environmental protection law. It also threatened to silence frontline communities and push through the Mountain Valley Pipeline, which had already been beaten down by community opposition and organizing. 

Manchin’s deal was bad news for both climate and communities, so Food & Water Watch and our allies acted fast. We

  • held rallies and sit-ins across the country,
  • helped more than 20 volunteers meet with or deliver letters to their lawmakers, to make their opposition clear
  • gathered signatures from over 400 scientists denouncing the deal because of its public health and environmental consequences, and
  • mobilized opposition against the deal in the House and Senate, especially amongst the representatives of Schumer’s home state of New York.

Then, on Capitol Hill in late September, 13 executive directors across our movement were arrested during a sit-in, including our very own Wenonah Hauter

And it all paid off. By the end of the month, Sen. Manchin had pulled the deal.

2. We Banned Fracking in the Parks of This PA County

Millions across Allegheny County, PA look to their parks as treasured sites of family, fun, and natural beauty. So when we saw how fracking devastated one County park, our PA organizers began mobilizing to ban future fracking in the rest of Allegheny parks.

We knew it wouldn’t be easy. Years ago, the current County Executive had vetoed a similar ban. But this time, we knew we had the people power and the support of other County Council members to make it happen. 

With our allies, we spent a year organizing, building on the work of those who came before us. In those efforts, we

  • arranged meetings between residents and their council members and helped deliver letters to members,
  • organized calls, coordinated door-to-door canvassers, lead rallies, and
  • collected petition signatures and helped dozens of residents make public comments. 

As expected, the County Executive vetoed the parks ban once it reached his desk, in the most underhanded way possible. But our allies on the Council rushed a special session and overrode the veto, picking up an extra vote of support along the way. Now, the landmark parks ban protects over 12,000 acres of beloved green spaces. 

3. We Shut Down Climate-Wrecking Crypto in New York

In recent years, millions of investors began jumping into the lucrative cryptocurrency market. But lurking behind new fortunes is a climate-wrecking technology we knew we had to stop.

Cryptomining (producing and verifying cryptocurrency) is extremely energy-intensive. It requires warehouses-worth of large computers running at full steam daily. As a result, the industry has resuscitated dying coal- and gas-fired power plants. It has also revved up production at plants once used only in emergencies or during peak demand.

While the crypto market has doled out heaps of cash to a lucky few, it threatens frontline communities with even more pollution and the planet with dangerous emissions.

By 2022, New York hosted at least one-fifth of all Bitcoin (the most popular type of cryptocurrency) mining in the country. More companies looked poised to pounce on the state’s dozens of retired power plants. So New York became the center of a campaign for a cryptomining moratorium. 

With our allies, we loudly supported the statewide moratorium (the first of its kind) every step of the way. By June, the needed bill passed the state legislature, only to languish on the desk of Governor Kathy Hochul. 

Finally, after months of organizing by Food & Water Watch and our allies, including a pivotal rally in November of this year, Governor Hochul signed the moratorium into law.

4. We’re Blocking Gas Infrastructure All Over the East Coast

Fracked gas harms people and the planet throughout its life cycle, and those harms are most devastating for the communities near polluting infrastructure. That’s why Food & Water Watch works with local organizations, leaders, and residents to stop new projects nationwide. 

Among other proposed projects, this year, we faced an expansion to a gas-fired power plant in Woodbridge, New Jersey. Our research found that if expanded as proposed, the Woodbridge site would become the largest source of climate emissions in the state. It would also spew toxic carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, lead, and more into the air.

Frontline communities, also disproportionately underserved, always bear the brunt of pollution like this. Around the Woodbridge site, every town within 5 miles is already overburdened with pollution, according to state criteria.

So we were elated when, this year, eight local government bodies passed resolutions to oppose the expansion. Four did so unanimously

The expansion’s fate is still dependent on an air permit from the state Department of Environmental Protection. But by organizing local governments and residents to speak out against the project, we’re building the diverse coalition and public pressure needed to get Governor Murphy to reject this polluting proposal.

We Have Plenty of Victories Ahead of Us

With every victory, Food & Water Watch continues learning and evolving. Other towns, other counties, and other states learn from our successes. Meanwhile, bigger and louder people power holds elected officials accountable to actually listen to their constituents. 

The road to securing a livable future is long and complicated, but we’re growing and gathering more support every day. Amid changing tides, polluting industries and corporate shills in office will continue clawing onto power. But we’re joining partners and frontline communities to go toe-to-toe with them, every step of the way.

In the new year, we will be working with our allies in offices across the country, at every level of government, to carry out our vision of a livable future for all. But we can’t do it without supporters like you. Because of your generosity, we have the resources to take on these crucial fights — and win them.

All Giving Tuesday gifts are now matched $4-to-$1. That’s five times the power to protect our planet in 2023 and beyond!

Oil Undercover: The Sneaky Ways Big Oil Pushes Its Interests

Categories

Climate and Energy

by Mia DiFelice

Last month, the residents of Allegheny County, PA were fighting to ban fracking in their parks. It came down to a special meeting, where County Councilmembers would vote whether to override a veto by the Council Executive.

The special meeting was held in front of a packed house. But many of the attendants weren’t interested Allegheny County residents. They were folks sent by industry groups and the fracking company that would benefit from the ban’s veto. 

This strategy is representative of decades of deceit from fossil fuel corporations. 

The industry has lied to us for as long as they’ve had something to lie about. First, about the relationship between fossil fuels and climate change; then, about their own actions (or rather, inaction) to help mitigate the climate crisis. 

To pull off this level of deceit, fossil fuel execs know they have to be sneaky about it. They know that while they have plenty of power to wield themselves, they’ll be far more effective if they can win hearts and minds. And oftentimes, that means going undercover.

Big Oil’s Undercover Ops Began as Soon as They Knew About Climate Change

As early as the 1980s, Big Oil’s own scientists knew that fossil fuels were a main driver of climate change, and that climate change would become a huge problem in the years to come. But Exxon executives, for instance, continued saying that climate science was “inconclusive.”

To make their claims seem credible, they hired an outreach team of five scientists who could declare independence in the climate “debate.” These scientists became the face of “unbiased” climate denialism, and the results of their work persisted for decades. 

For example, just five years ago, 97% of climate scientists thought global warming was likely due to human activity. Yet at the same time, more than half of our Representatives and Senators were climate deniers.

Big Oil continues to use these strategies, even as the worsening perils of our fossil fuel dependence become clearer. Big industry players are still hiring scientists to sow doubt and push their agenda. And they’ve added more tools to their arsenal — Ivy League universities, research institutions, PR firms and even fake “grassroots” campaigns.

Big Oil Goes “Grassroots” in New York And California

Astroturf groups, or front groups, look like grassroots groups at first glance. They talk about dangers and benefits to the consumer. They call for reasonable things like “affordable energy” and “energy solutions.” But under the hood, they’re funded and directed by dirty energy companies that have a vested interest in passing policy. 

These front groups work from the local to the national level. Take the example of SoCalGas in 2019. That year, California’s Public Utilities Commission began setting policies to decarbonize buildings. As part of that process, SoCalGas, a major gas company in the state, was set to testify to the Commission. A group called “Californians for Balanced Energy Solutions” (C4BES) also petitioned to be at the table.

But then, environmental groups exposed the truth — SoCalGas established and funded C4BES. By sneaking C4BES in front of the Commission, SoCalGas essentially gave itself two voices in the discussion, with C4BES posing as the interests of everyday Californians. 

Such groups ran rampant in California. In 2017, reporters uncovered 16 front groups run by the Western States Petroleum Association — the largest lobby group for Big Oil in the West. A leaked presentation by WSPA’s president revealed that the Association was using these fake organizations to create the illusion of public opposition to climate policies.

The Oil Slick in The Halls of America’s Universities

Big Oil money saturates nearly every energy institution in academia. For instance, the Marcellus Shale Coalition funded much of the research on fracking out of Penn State University. The Coalition includes huge gas companies such as Chevron and Sunoco. 

Our 2013 report — in the middle of the fracking boom — found that fracking companies had their hands in university studies across the country. Researchers hid previous ties to the industry; companies funded professor positions and improvements to university buildings.

They also funded research that blew through peer review processes; a University Texas panel declared that one industry-funded study “fell short of contemporary standards for scientific work.” Such research has claimed fracking was getting safer (even when it wasn’t). One study even successfully advocated for tax policy that would benefit the industry.

This is an endemic problem, from our country’s biggest research universities to its most prestigious Ivy Leagues. The gradual withdrawal of public funding for education has driven universities into corporations’ willing arms, which are all too happy to pay for research supporting their products and profits.

By funding and swaying university research, Big Oil’s supporters can point to respected and “independent” sources — when these sources are actually on Big Oil’s payroll. 

We Can Take The Power Back From Big Oil

Fossil fuel corporations have gotten away with misleading us for so long because of their money and power. They’ve used their resources to recruit public relations firms, trade groups, front groups and researchers. These folks in turn leverage their influence to sway courts, lawmakers and public opinion in Big Oil’s favor.

But climate change and its effects continue to worsen. Climate action becomes more urgent every day. We can’t afford distractions. In a fight of fact versus fiction, one of our best defenses is exposing deception. Once we reveal the disguises and the deceit, we see the only way forward must be 100% renewables and the end of the fossil fuel industry.

Knowledge is power. We can take it back from the fossil fuel industry!

How We’re Challenging a New York Gas Expansion in Federal Court

Categories

Climate and Energy

PHOTO CC-BY RYAN MCKNIGHT / SOURCE
by Adam Carlesco

In the Northeast, a gas infrastructure project threatens the backyards of thousands, promising more emissions and pollution. The proposed project from Tennessee Gas would expand gas compressor facilities, one in Pennsylvania and one in New Jersey. The project also includes a new facility in New Jersey less than a quarter-mile from a reservoir that supplies water to 3.5 million residents. 

Tennessee Gas’s project would grow fracked gas supplies sent through the East 300 pipeline to the New York City metro area. And the Federal Regulatory Commission (FERC) has given the project the go-ahead. But we know that FERC has not done their due diligence. 

This month, we filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C., challenging FERC’s approval.

FERC Refuses to Account For Pipeline Projects’ Indirect Effects

To break ground, pipeline projects require “certificates of public convenience and necessity” from FERC. To issue these, FERC must analyze the project’s environmental impacts, including so-called “indirect” impacts. These include climate emissions from gas extraction and the local air pollution from burning gas in homes and businesses. 

Food & Water Watch recently defeated FERC in court after it failed to consider the indirect effects of pipeline infrastructure it approves. But the Commission has continued to ignore clearly foreseeable indirect effects with its East 300 approval.

Providing more gas supplies through the lifetime of the proposed East 300 additions would require more drilling and fracking wells. The commission must know this. It has the data to consider everything from well production averages, gas volumes, infrastructure lifespan and relevant shale plays. But FERC has decided to ignore these glaring issues and approve this project with little critical oversight. 

Not only will the project increase drilling; it will cause air pollution at the end of the pipeline. For example, degraded methane leaks throughout distribution networks. End-users combust it when they turn on their stoves or their gas heaters. This methane leads to ozone pollution and its many public health threats, like worsening respiratory problems. 

This is especially dangerous for New York’s Westchester County, which gets gas from the East 300 line. For decades, Westchester’s air quality has not met Clean Air Act standards because of elevated levels of ozone.

However, FERC has only reviewed air pollution in a small area around each compressor station. It ignored most of the air pollution that the project will cause, especially downstream emissions. By approving such a large gas capacity expansion, FERC will degrade Westchester County’s local air quality. 

FERC Ignores State Climate Law And Local Gas Hookup Bans

Under the Natural Gas Act, FERC must consider “all factors bearing on the public interest” to decide approval for a new gas project. This includes any information that may undermine the developer’s claim that users need greater gas capacity.

Despite this, FERC has ignored New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act and its bold decarbonization requirements. These include mandates for economy-wide emissions reductions of 40% by 2030 and 85% by 2050. These are not mere suggestions, as FERC alleges.

A New York court has recently recognized that the CLCPA’s emissions requirements are binding. The court upheld the denial of air permits for the proposed Danskammer fracked gas power plant. It maintained that the plant’s prospective emissions would make it “inconsistent with or would interfere with the attainment of the [CLCPA’s] Statewide GHG emission limit for 2030.” 

The CLCPA is already reshaping the energy landscape of New York. But FERC has buried its head in the sand with regards to the state’s clean energy transition.

Additionally, New York City’s electricity and gas is served by utility ConEd, which gets its gas from the East 300 line. But New York City recently banned new gas hookups within the city. The ban will significantly reduce gas demand in ConEd’s distribution network, of which NYC makes up the lion’s share

State legislators in Albany and Governor Hochul are moving toward following New York City. They’re now considering a statewide prohibition on gas hookups for new construction. As New York City moves towards its 2050 net-zero emissions target, it will drastically reduce its gas consumption. In light of these rapid changes to New York’s energy landscape, the need for this project’s proposed expanded capacity is dubious at best. 

FERC has approved a project that will likely become unprofitable during or soon after it’s complete. But ConEd’s ratepayers would be on the hook to cover the project’s costs. FERC insists that these glaring issues aren’t part of the “factors bearing on the public interest” that it must consider. But FERC is wrong, and we’re taking them to court for it. 

You Can Help Us Fight Fracking And FERC

If the East 300 project goes forward, gas utilities will continue to profit off expanding fossil fuel pollution. It will bring more community-devastating pollution and climate-wrecking emissions. 

We’re fighting East 300, but the fight goes further. We can secure a better, more sustainable future for New York with a fast transition off fossil fuels. New Yorkers can contact state their representatives to tell them that the state must follow the City’s example and prohibit new gas hookups. And you can support us in our fight with FERC, along with all of our work, by becoming a member of Food & Water Watch today. 

Help us fight for a greener future in New York and beyond.

We’re Shipping Fracked Gas Abroad, Killing Our Wallets and Our Planet

Categories

Climate and Energy

by Mia DiFelice

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we are yet again reminded of the dangers posed by our dependence on fossil fuels. Companies and countries too easily manipulate the market for profit and political gain.

Following new European sanctions against Russia, American fracked gas companies were only too happy to take advantage of the crisis. They’re touting fracked gas as an alternative to Russian fossil fuels. But if allowed to continue, the industry will lock in huge profits — as well as a supercharged trans-Atlantic fossil fuel trade and continued U.S. and EU dependency on fossil fuels. 

To export fracked gas, companies liquefy it and ship it overseas — such gas is known as liquefied natural gas (LNG). America began exporting LNG thanks to the glut of gas brought by the fracking boom, starting about eight years ago. In that time, the U.S. has gone from importing gas to, this year, becoming the largest LNG exporter in the world. We cannot allow this growth to continue.

Fracked Gas Companies Plan To Profit While Prices Hurt Families

At the moment, global prices for LNG are nine times more than they were just two years ago. Those prices, in energy terms, are comparable to a $200 barrel of oil. (Even now, with oil prices in the news daily, a barrel of crude has hovered around $100.) The new demand from Europe disrupted fracked gas markets, and prices rose as more competitors vie for supplies. 

That includes prices here in the U.S. The growth of LNG exports caused the soaring home heating prices that slammed low-income families last winter. In June 2022, an explosion at a Texas LNG export facility took 20% of U.S. export capacity offline. The result: market prices for fracked gas dropped in just a few hours. The explosion stopped exports that would have gone abroad. That unexpected supply flooded U.S. markets, and U.S. prices fell. Exporting domestic supply to the highest bidder has clear impacts on our energy costs at home.

The growing export industry has allowed U.S. LNG companies to pull in millions of excess profits from these high prices. In 2022’s first quarter, four of the biggest gas companies reported growing sales, profits and stock buybacks. This year, Cheniere, America’s largest LNG company, reported double the revenues compared to last year.

At the same time, exporters are using the crisis in Europe as an opportunity to build out infrastructure on our shores. In February, Cheniere’s CEO said to investors, “…the fact that there’s a scarcity of LNG these days is driving more and more conversation on how to increase our infrastructure and secure monthly contracts for our European customers.” 

Yet, these new export terminals won’t help Europe much when there isn’t enough infrastructure there to move fracked gas. On top of that, a May report by E3G found that the EU’s energy sector can transition off Russian gas by 2025 without the need for any new LNG infrastructure. Renewables are the clear winner when it comes to securing energy security.

Fracked Gas Presents Terminal Health Risks To People And Planet

LNG isn’t nearly as climate-friendly as its proponents want us to believe. LNG exports require liquifying, regasifying and transporting processes, which are energy-intensive and create more pollution. Plus, LNG creates pressure in the tanks it’s stored in, making it necessary to vent some gas. The resulting leaks make LNG more damaging for the climate than coal. The emissions of all these processes nearly equal that of burning the gas itself — in other words, exported LNG has double the climate impact of fracked gas used domestically. 

Fracked gas infrastructure also comes with a host of health and safety risks for nearby communities. Every step of the supply chain, from drilling, to pipelines, to transport, comes with risks of explosion. Between 2010 and 2019, our government recorded 1,226 gas pipeline safety incidents, including fires and explosions. These incidents killed 25 people, injured 108 and caused $1.3 billion in damages. But only 5% of fracked gas pipelines must report incidents. The number of casualties is surely higher. 

One region threatened by proposed new LNG infrastructure is the Gulf coast. The projects there are set to decimate wildlife habitats, desecrate Indigenous historical sites and disproportionately impact marginalized communities with toxic pollution. This pollution can create smog, cause asthma and damage lungs. The risks are disproportionately borne by people of color. 

Fracked Gas Exports: No Quick Fixes, Only Long-Term Consequences

Anything corporations do to expand LNG today will not change prices or stop shortages in the months to come. In fact, pipelines and export facilities take years to come online.

The industry shows its hand as it pursues long-term contracts. This isn’t about helping other countries in a short-term crisis — it’s about locking in decades of business at the expense of marginalized communities and planetary wellbeing.

Any investment in expanding fossil fuels is wildly out of step with the current science on climate change. Earlier this year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change made clear that any such expansion “will rob us of our last chance to avert climate chaos.” 

And LNG infrastructure is no minor investment. A single export plant costs billions to build. If the industry has its way, the U.S. risks squandering enormous sums on a market that will likely dry up in a few years. The future of LNG is clear — billions wasted on stranded assets and ever more dependence on climate-wrecking fossil fuels. 

We already have the tools to face down climate change. The Future Generations Protections Act will stop fracked gas exports, among a host of other climate-saving measures. If we are to secure a brighter, greener future, we have to stop LNG exports now.

Tell Congress to support the Future Generations Protect Act.

Big Oil’s Lies Are Killing Our Planet — And Us

Categories

Climate and Energy

by Mia DiFelice

For decades, the fossil fuel industry has lied to us and covered up their climate impacts. Thankfully, Big Oil is finally facing consequences. Several cities and states have sued fossil fuel corporations for their lies. For instance, Massachusetts’ attorney general alleges Exxon broke consumer protection laws and lied to investors about the risks climate change poses to their business. 

But as the industry faces new heat, it’s turning to new lies to keep us hooked. Here are five myths Big Oil is pushing on us, and the reality they don’t want us to know.

Lie #1: Good Food Needs Gas

The best cooking is done on an open flame. This line has been pushed by the natural gas industry for decades. Gas stoves have become symbols of food and family, hearth and home. But whatever merits gas has for cooking, they don’t outweigh its dangerous health and climate impacts. 

Just an hour of running a gas stove and oven creates unsafe pollutant levels in the whole house, not just the kitchen. Nitrogen oxides, a family of such stove-emitting pollutants, are linked to heart and respiratory problems. In fact, children in homes with gas stoves are 42% more likely to have asthma than those in homes that use electric. And a whopping 10% of all U.S. emissions come just from burning gas in commercial and residential buildings. 

Despite these hazards, new single-family homes built with gas hookups increased by 20% from the 1970s to 2019. That’s because the gas industry has flooded our airwaves, our magazines and even our social media feeds with ads. For example, the American Gas Association’s #cookingwithgas campaign pulled chefs from around the country to drum up support. It’s also paid influencers to “gush” about gas stoves on Instagram. 

The fossil fuel industry has a vested interest in keeping gas in our homes. But the fact is electric stoves are way more efficient, less polluting and kinder to the planet.

Lie #2: “Natural” Gas Is Our Bridge To Clean Energy

When the fracking boom arrived in the 2010s, the industry claimed that gas would be a bridge to clean energy. By replacing dirty coal, the story went, gas could get our emissions in check while renewable technology grew cheaper and scalable. 

But fracked gas has barely tipped the scale on emissions. In the past ten years, emissions from coal and gas fell by only 10%. Methane leaks from fracking infrastructure counteracts any claim of a benefit. In 2020, we did the math and found that if gas remains our dominant source of electricity, emissions will actually rise in the coming decades. Meanwhile, we know that renewables are ready to scale, affordable and critical to eliminating fossil fuels in the electricity, building and transportation sectors. We just need the political will to build them as quickly as possible.

As fossil fuel companies build out new fracking infrastructure, they’re locking us into gas for another generation at least. The average lifespan of a gas power plant is 4 to 5 decades. By investing in new gas plants, we’re either dooming the Earth to runaway climate change or wasting billions (often subsidized with public money) on facilities that must be decommissioned in just a few years. 

Lie #3: More Fossil Fuels = More Jobs

Opponents to decarbonization love to say that slashing fossil fuels will slash jobs. In 2021, the American Petroleum Institute claimed 2.5 million people work directly in oil and gas. But we checked their work and found that their report double-counted and overcounted by over 2 million jobs. 

Moreover, fossil fuel companies are not genuinely concerned with preserving employment. Even as production and profits increased in the U.S. over the years, the industry has hemorrhaged jobs. This is because oil and gas companies eagerly pursue automation to cut costs.

On the other hand, growing green industries like efficiency, ecosystem restoration and renewables will create more jobs than doubling down on fossil fuels. Fossil-fuel reliant communities shouldn’t be tied to dying industries that’ll leave pollution for decades to come. Rather, they need — and demand — a just transition that creates good jobs in clean energy. 

Lie #4: Carbon Capture Will Solve The Climate Crisis

The new darling of the fossil fuel industry is carbon capture and storage, which pulls carbon out of power plant emissions. Proponents say this will change the game on lowering emissions, as it prevents emitted CO2 from ever reaching the atmosphere. CCS has received a lot of press recently — and a lot of cash. The Biden administration has dedicated more than $10 billion of taxpayer funds through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to build out CCS infrastructure. 

But CCS demonstration projects have already received $6.9 billion of our money. And these projects actually proved that carbon capture is not a viable climate solution. Plagued with budget overshoots and underperformance, by 2016 only 4% of planned CCS capacity saw operations.

We’ve seen plenty of proof that these projects require new, expensive infrastructure and way too much energy to justify ever building them. Carbon capture systems essentially need a whole new power plant to fuel them. As a result, CCS projects in the U.S. have been net emitters, rather than reducers. And, in an outrageous turn of events, much of the carbon captured in CCS is used for enhanced oil recovery. This practice injects carbon into wells to help extract even more fossil fuels.

Ultimately, the best and fastest solution to decarbonize is to transition to 100% renewable energy. This, plus energy efficiency and rolling back demand, are our best bets to soften the blow of climate change. Oil companies saying otherwise are trying to distract us from the solutions that threaten their bottom line.

Lie #5: Oil & Gas Wants To Help Us Get Green

Since the Paris Climate agreement was signed in 2015, Big Oil has spent hundreds of millions of dollars rebranding itself. They’ve touted algae biofuels, recycling programs, clean energy investments and more to portray themselves as partners in a green transition. But while they loudly talk the talk, they, unsurprisingly, have failed to walk the walk. 

This year, researchers dug into the financial statements and annual reports of four major oil companies. Even though the companies sprinkled reports with phrases like “low-carbon energy” and “clean-energy transition,” they’ve actually increased fossil fuel production and barely dipped their toes in clean energy investments. 

Instead, as another report found, the five biggest oil and gas companies spent $200 million a year lobbying against climate legislation in the five years after Paris.

To make matters worse, the 12 largest oil and gas companies have committed to pouring $387 million a day on oil and gas extraction through 2030. Their planned projects (60% of which have broken ground) total 646 billion tons of emissions. That doesn’t sound like a “clean-energy transition” to us.

Big Oil’s Lies Are Ugly, And The Consequences If We Believe Them Will Be Uglier

Big Oil is trying to paint itself as part of a new, green future. But the industry has not substantially pivoted to clean energy, halted development or meaningfully reduced emissions. Instead, it’s doubling down on fossil fuels while pushing false narratives and pretending to develop “solutions.” 

We have to make it clear that Big Oil can no longer get away with misleading us. Our planet don’t need expensive technology or feel-good stories. It needs us to abandon fossil fuels now.

Knowledge is power.
Take it back from Big Oil.