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EXTRACTED: Daily News Clips 1/30/23

Mark Hefflinger, Bold Alliance (Photo: Bryon Houlgrave/Des Moines Register

By Mark Hefflinger

January 30, 2023



  • Topeka Capital-Journal: As Kansas oil cleanup nears end, key questions are still unanswered

  • Associated Press: North Dakota landowners at odds in carbon pipeline plans

  • Iowa Capital Dispatch: Pipeline survey law enforcement varies by county

  • Reuters: Texas oil regulator advises pipeline operators to prepare for severe winter conditions


  • Bloomberg: Feds Agree to Reanalyze Impacts of Utah Oil, Gas Leases

  • E&E News: Competition heats up for U.S. direct air capture program



  • NPR: Oil refineries release lots of water pollution near communities of color, data show

  • E&E News: Methane Leaks On Public Land Worth $500M A Year, Report Says

  • Canadian Press: TotalEnergies EP Canada ups stake in Fort Hills oilsands project


  • Hampden Twp. firefighters awarded grant for emergency equipment

  • CollingwoodToday: Enbridge antes up $5K for Grey Highlands firefighter training


  • Agri-Pulse: Opinion: CO2 pipelines provide safe transportation, must be approved

  • The Hill: The Fed is out of touch on climate

  • We’ve got big money on our side to challenge fossil fuel financing banks.

  • The Hill: The world loses when Big Oil holds all the cards


Topeka Capital-Journal: As Kansas oil cleanup nears end, key questions are still unanswered
Andrew Bahl, 1/29/23

“Cleanup of a historic December oil spill in north-central Kansas — the largest of its kind in nearly a decade — is progressing, although key details haven’t yet flowed to policymakers in Topeka or Washington, D.C.,” the Topeka Capital-Journal reports. “…A month-and-a-half after the spill, legislators haven’t held any hearings to examine the incident or any potential state policy response. Leaders of the relevant committees say they will do so eventually… “But there have been no hearings there either and no signs as of yet that the spill will bring about changes at a national level. All the while, key details about the spill haven’t been made public, most notably what caused the incident and amount of pressure used to move oil through the pipeline at the time of the spill. “They (TC Energy) have had good communication, or I would say frequent communication, but only exactly what they want to put out there,” Rep. Rui Xu, D-Westwood told the Journal. “I think we require more independent eyes, legislator eyes, media eyes on what is going on there vs. what they are putting out there.” “…Key details are unknown. A TC Energy spokesperson said in an email that the company’s investigation into the cause of the spill remains ongoing, as does testing of an affected portion of the pipeline. It also unknown what the operating pressure was used to move oil through the pipeline on the day of the spill… “That portion of the Keystone pipeline, which runs from Alberta, Canada, to Texas, had received permission from federal regulators to move oil at a higher pressure than initially approved. A spokesperson for the company didn’t respond to questions as to what pressure was being used and when that information might be made public… “The status of any state investigation into the spill remains unclear. When asked Thursday, Attorney General Kris Kobach told the Journal, “I haven’t yet been briefed on whether we are doing anything in that particular spill.” KDWP, which was tasked with assessing all deceased or otherwise affected wildlife, denied a Kansas Open Records Act request for photos and other records of wildlife affected by the oil spill. The denial cited KORA exceptions for ongoing investigations, explaining that records are still being collected and will be reviewed for compliance with applicable KDWP statutes and regulations… “Rep. Leo Delperdang, R-Wichita, chair of the House Utilities, Transportation and Energy Committee, told the Journal he had asked specific questions regarding the potential causes of the spill and hadn’t heard back… “Delperdang told the Journal he was committed to holding a hearing on the matter in March, after the date in which committees are required advance bills, a procedural deadline that always prompts a flurry of activity. “I fully intend on trying to get them in here,” he told the Journal. “If not, I want to know why not.”

Associated Press: North Dakota landowners at odds in carbon pipeline plans

“North Dakota landowners testified for and against a carbon capture company’s use of eminent domain Friday, as Summit Carbon Solutions moves forward in constructing a massive underground system of carbon dioxide pipelines spanning 2,000 miles across several states and under hundreds of people’s homes and farms in the Midwest,” the Associated Press reports. “…Landowners who opposed the company’s right to eminent domain argued that a private entity should not be able to forcibly buy their land and that the pipeline will potentially endanger people living above it… “The Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee did not immediately vote on the bills heard Thursday and Friday about carbon pipelines and eminent domain. Republican Sen. Jeffery Magrum, of Hazelton, told AP he introduced the bills because he has heard from “many landowners” that carbon pipeline developers are threatening the use of eminent domain as a way to negotiate for property rights and access. “We need to support property rights and our land owners as we develop our natural resources,” Magrum told AP. The bill heard Friday would prohibit carbon pipeline companies from exercising eminent domain, but would allow oil, gas and coal companies to continue using eminent domain. “The proposed carbon dioxide pipeline would move a dangerous product through our community to a location where it cannot be used for any purpose, but instead must be injected underground and sequestered forever,” said Gaylen Dewing, who has worked as a farmer and rancher near Bismarck for over 50 years. Dewing added that the state’s energy industry “would not benefit in any way” from this practice of storing carbon dioxide underground, so carbon pipeline companies should not have the right to exercise eminent domain. Susan Doppler, a landowner in Burleigh County, said her family does not want “our land ripped up — toxic and useless — to give way to a hazardous pipeline. What a worthless and disgusting inheritance to leave a future generation.”

Iowa Capital Dispatch: Pipeline survey law enforcement varies by county

“Three Lee County residents say land surveyors for a carbon dioxide pipeline company went onto their properties without giving required notice of the surveys but that law enforcement officers have so far declined to charge the surveyors with trespassing,” Iowa Capital Dispatch reports. “…The projects have prompted significant debate about property rights, primarily centered on whether the private companies should be allowed to use eminent domain to force easements with landowners. But some residents have also tried to prevent the companies from surveying their land… “That part of the law is being challenged on two fronts in court: Some landowners have asked judges to decide that the law is unconstitutional. Also, a surveyor is charged with trespassing in northwest Iowa… “The Lee County residents — who oppose the project — say their situation is different: They received notice of a required informational meeting but heard nothing about the surveys before they saw crews digging on their properties. “Farmers take a lot of pride in their land, and we don’t feel they should have the right to come on our land and do what they want to do,” Mark Meierotto, who farms near West Point, told the Dispatch. “We have never gotten notified about a survey.” “…Another landowner in the area, Andrew Johnson, has pursued trespassing charges for the surveyors, who he says have gone onto his property at least three times. Johnson told the Dispatch he also has not received written notice of the surveys. “They just keep coming back, and I’ve told them not to come,” Johnson told the Dispatch. “I’ve called their supervisors. I’ve actually spoken to them. They told me that they’ll stay away, and then two days later, here they are, they’re right back where they were.” “…He told the Dispatch there are other landowners beyond those who spoke to Iowa Capital Dispatch who have had similar troubles… “In northwest Iowa, the Dickinson County Sheriff’s Office filed a trespassing charge because it was unclear whether a landowner and tenant had been properly notified of the survey work. “If you’ve been asked to leave, you’re supposed to leave, otherwise it’s trespassing,” Dickinson County Sheriff Greg Baloun has said… “A northwest Iowa lawmaker introduced several bills last week that would change the rules for the pipeline companies. One would prohibit the companies from conducting land surveys without landowner permission.”

Reuters: Texas oil regulator advises pipeline operators to prepare for severe winter conditions

“The Texas oil regulator on Sunday advised oil and gas pipeline operators to secure equipment and facilities after forecasts for severe weather over the next several days,” Reuters reports. “The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC), which oversees the state’s oil and gas industries, issued the notice after the National Weather Service forecast wintry precipitation and ice accumulations across several parts of the state. The oil regulator advised the operators to secure all personnel, equipment and facilities to prevent injury or damage, and monitor and prepare operations for potential impacts… “Millions of Texans were left without power, water and heat for days during a deadly winter storm in February 2021 after the shutdown of a large amount of electric generation and gas pipelines.”


Bloomberg: Feds Agree to Reanalyze Impacts of Utah Oil, Gas Leases

“The Bureau of Land Management must conduct additional environmental and historical analyses of 32 oil and gas leases in southeastern Utah, according to a settlement between an environmental group and the agency,” Bloomberg reports. “The legal challenge, brought by Friends of Cedar Mesa, argued that the agency’s approval of the lease sales didn’t adequately consider the potential impacts on cultural and natural resources in the area, in violation of the National Historic Preservation Act and National Environmental Policy Act. The area is home to some of the highest concentrations of archaeological sites in the nation.”

E&E News: Competition heats up for U.S. direct air capture program
Carlos Anchondo, Corbin Hiar, 1/30/23

“At least four groups have expressed interest in a new federal program that aims to fight global warming with the use of machines that can suck carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,” E&E News reports. “Two startups and two universities have signaled that they plan to apply for a piece of $3.5 billion in federal funding that’s available to help build four direct air capture (DAC) facilities in the United States… “DAC is the most commercially advanced long-term carbon removal technology. But there are currently only 18 facilities operating worldwide, which are collectively capable of capturing less than 10,000 metric tons of CO2 per year, according to an April 2022 report from the International Energy Agency… “Scientists estimate that up to 10 billion tons of CO2 will need to be removed annually from the atmosphere by 2050, a figure that increases to 20 billion tons per year by 2100. For reference, the world emitted almost 39 billion tons in 2021. DOE set the ground rules for the DAC hub competition late last year. Winning bids are eligible for matching funds ranging from $3 million for the earliest-stage efforts to $500 million for shovel-ready proposals.”


New York Times: In Texas Oil Country, an Unfamiliar Threat: Earthquakes
J. David Goodman, 1/28/23

“The West Texas earth shook one day in November, shuddering through the two-story city hall in downtown Pecos, swaying the ceiling fans at an old railroad station, rattling the walls at a popular taqueria,” the New York Times reports. “The tremor registered as a 5.4-magnitude earthquake, among the largest ever recorded in the state. Then, a month later, another of similar magnitude struck not far away, near Odessa and Midland, twin oil country cities with relatively tall office buildings, some of them visible for miles around… “ In Reeves County, oil and gas production has increasingly meant hydraulic fracturing, a process of extraction that produces, as a byproduct, a huge amount of wastewater. Some of that wastewater is reused in fracking operations, but most of it is injected back under the ground. It is that process of forcing tens of billions of gallons of water into the earth that, regulators and geoscientists agree, is to blame for many of the earthquakes. The connection between wastewater disposal and earthquakes has been long understood. Other states with substantial fracking operations have also seen the ground shake as a result, including Oklahoma, where a similarly rapid increase in earthquakes more than a decade ago included a 5.6-magnitude quake in 2016 that forced the shutdown of several wastewater wells. Getting rid of the “produced” water is an important business in West Texas, and locations labeled “SWD” — for saltwater disposal — dot the landscape of drilling rigs and truck-worn roads. Each of the past few years, about 168 billion gallons of wastewater have been disposed of in this way, according to data from the Railroad Commission of Texas, which regulates the oil industry… “To address earthquakes outside of Odessa and Midland, state regulators suspended permits for deep disposal wells. And just north of the border with Texas, New Mexico regulators have been taking their own steps to control saltwater disposal, including $2 million in fines to Exxon over compliance failures… “It is past time for the Railroad Commission of Texas to update the rules on injection wells,” Cyrus Reed, the conservation director for the Sierra Club’s Lone Star Chapter, told the Times, adding that there should be limits on injecting “polluted fracking wastewater” in places impacted by seismic activity.

Bismarck Tribune: Bakken Energy’s plans for Beulah hydrogen hub fizzle

“Plans to convert a synthetic gas facility in Beulah into one of the nation’s largest hydrogen-production facilities and to make it a significant piece in a regional hub of hydrogen production have fallen through,” the Bismarck Tribune reports. “Bakken Energy, a Bismarck-based hydrogen company, announced in August 2021 that it had reached an agreement with Basin Electric Power Cooperative “on key terms and conditions to purchase the assets of the Dakota Gasification Company,” a Basin subsidiary that owns the Great Plains Synfuels Plant, where lignite coal is mined and converted into natural gas, ammonia for fertilizer and carbon dioxide for oil recovery, as well as other chemical products… “But Basin and Bakken Energy “ceased negotiations” over the sale earlier this month, according to Chris Baumgartner, Basin’s senior vice president of member and external relations… “While most of the awards from the state will not go forward now that the deal is off, Reice Haase, deputy executive director of the Industrial Commission, told the Tribune Bakken Energy has already spent $4.76 million of that money and is unlikely to return it… “Among the factors that have fluctuated, Burgum told the Tribune, are the rising price of fertilizer and passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which offered significant tax credits for capturing and storing climate-warming carbon dioxide emissions. As Basin seeks to take advantage of those credits to increase revenue, the Industrial Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved a 32-square-mile expansion of the subterranean storage area for carbon from the synfuels plant, Burgum said. “Right now, they take 2 million tons (of carbon dioxide) a year and ship it to the Weyburn field Canada for enhanced oil recovery,” he told the Tribune. “There’s another 1.5 million potential of CO2 that’s produced at that plant today that’s not being captured, so they have the opportunity to capture that extra 1.5 million right there and get paid. So the economics have improved favorably for Basin in terms of the value of that plant versus what it was. I’m sure when you have that kind of rapid change in valuation, then sometimes the transactions don’t come together.”


NPR: Oil refineries release lots of water pollution near communities of color, data show
Rebecca Hersher, 1/26/23

“Oil refineries release billions of pounds of pollution annually into waterways, and that pollution disproportionately affects people of color, according to a new analysis of Environmental Protection Agency regulatory data,” NPR reports. “The pollution includes heavy metals, nitrogen and other compounds that can kill aquatic animals, feed harmful algae and make waterways dangerous for humans to fish in, swim in or even touch. The pollution affects communities across the country, but is especially concentrated along the Gulf Coast, in California and near Chicago. The new findings underscore health and environmental dangers across fossil fuel operations, from the wellhead to pipelines, refineries and consumer use. The report was published by the Environmental Integrity Project, an independent watchdog group that routinely analyzes public data collected by the EPA. “This is a highly polluting industry discharging large volumes of wastewater,” Eric Schaeffer, executive director the Environmental Integrity Project, and former director of the EPA’s Office of Civil Enforcement, told NPR… “Most refineries included in the analysis reported releasing extra pollution, beyond what they are legally permitted to. But less than a quarter of those with violations were penalized by the EPA, the data show. “We have a chronic problem with enforcement of the [Clean] Water Act,” Schaeffer told NPR… “A further NPR analysis of the data finds even more stark inequities: some types of water pollution are concentrated overwhelmingly in communities where people of color live. For example, about three-quarters of the nitrogen, selenium and dissolved solid pollution from oil refineries came from facilities that are surrounded by neighborhoods that are home to people of color… “I’m not surprised at all,” John Beard, a former city council member in Port Arthur, Texas and current director of the local environmental group the Port Arthur Community Action Network, told NPR. The Gulf Coast city is crisscrossed by bayous and other waterways, and is home to multiple major refineries. Beard told NPR the pollution is obvious. “You can see the [oil] sheen on the water,” he explains. Sometimes the water smells.”

E&E News: Methane Leaks On Public Land Worth $500M A Year, Report Says
Heather Richards, 1/26/23

“Oil and gas operators release or lose to leaks $500 million worth of natural gas on public lands in a given year, according to an economic analysis released Thursday by environmental and government watchdog groups,” E&E News reports. “The report, written by Synapse Energy Economics and commissioned by the Environmental Defense Fund and Taxpayers for Common Sense, comes as the Biden administration is weighing new regulations to stem methane — the primary component of natural gas — that’s lost from oil and gas operations. ‘We can’t continue to allow half a billion dollars’ worth of taxpayer-owned resources to go to waste every year,’ said Jon Goldstein, senior director of regulatory and legislative affairs at EDF. ‘The Biden administration has a clear opportunity to step up with strong rules that stop waste and pollution from practices like routine flaring to protect the public interest.’”

Canadian Press: TotalEnergies EP Canada ups stake in Fort Hills oilsands project

“TotalEnergies EP Canada Ltd. says it is increasing its ownership in the Fort Hills oilsands project by acquiring part of Teck Resources Ltd.’s stake in the mine,” the Canadian Press reports. “Teck announced last year that it would sell its 21.3 per cent stake in Fort Hills to Suncor Energy Inc., the third partner in the project, for about $1 billion. However, TotalEnergies EP Canada says it has exercised its pre-emption right to acquire an additional 6.65 per cent in the project from Teck for $312 million.29dk2902l The deal brings the company’s stake in Fort Hills to 31.23 per cent. Suncor will own the rest. French company TotalEnergies announced in September 2022 its plan to exit the Canadian oilsands by spinning off TotalEnergies EP Canada in 2023.”

TODAY IN GREENWASHING Hampden Twp. firefighters awarded grant for emergency equipment
Paul Vigna, 1/29/23

“The Hampden Township Volunteer Fire Company on Jan. 24 formally accepted a grant in the amount of $10,932.99 from Energy Transfer, which aided in the purchase of equipment to enhance the organization’s firefighting capabilities,” reports. “Energy Transfer is one of the largest energy logistics companies in the country, with approximately 3,000 miles of pipeline infrastructure and gathering systems located in Pennsylvania, a press release from the township said. “As an all-volunteer fire company, it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep our equipment up-to-date and ensure the safety of our members and of the community,” Hampden Township Volunteer Fire Company Captain Doug Gochenaur said. “We are extremely grateful to Energy Transfer for supporting us with this grant and for being a great community partner.”

CollingwoodToday: Enbridge antes up $5K for Grey Highlands firefighter training

“Enbridge Gas Inc. is helping Grey Highlands Fire Department purchase firefighting training materials through Safe Community Project Assist — a program with the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council (FMPFSC) that supplements existing training for Ontario volunteer and composite fire departments in the communities where Enbridge Gas operates,” CollingwoodToday reports. “At Enbridge Gas, safety is our priority. We’re proud to support Ontario firefighters who share our commitment to keeping our communities safe, healthy, and vibrant,” says Kyle Kemp of Enbridge Gas. This year’s $250,000 donation from Enbridge Gas will be shared by 50 Ontario fire departments, including Grey Highlands Fire Department. Funds are used to purchase educational materials to assist in training firefighters in life-saving techniques. Since the launch of Safe Community Project Assist in 2012, 294 grants have been provided to Ontario fire departments for additional firefighter training.”


Agri-Pulse: Opinion: CO2 pipelines provide safe transportation, must be approved
Andrew Black is president and CEO of Liquid Energy Pipeline Association, 1/30/23

“Based on the current comprehensive regulatory framework in place and proven track record of safe CO2 pipeline operations across the nation, it is clear that pipelines, such as the Heartland Greenway, provide a safe means of transporting CO2 and should be approved,” Andrew Black writes for Agri-Pulse. “…CO2 pipeline operators, as required by federal regulations and their own safety programs, must devote significant resources to ensuring their pipelines operate safely… “Navigator CO2 has worked with landowners since the inception of the Heartland Greenway to ensure the project is built safely, the right way, and to last… “These pipeline safety programs are having their intended effect of improving pipeline safety performance. According to federal government safety data of 5,000 miles of CO2 pipelines currently in operation, CO2 pipeline incidents are down 56% over the last 5 years. Compared to other liquids pipelines, CO2 pipelines are the safest. Since 2017, CO2 pipelines have experienced 55% fewer incidents per mile than crude oil pipelines and 37% fewer incidents per mile than refined products pipelines.”

The Hill: The Fed is out of touch on climate
Akiksha Chatterji is a campaigner at the non-profit research and campaign organization Positive Money US; Jennie C. Stephens is the dean’s professor of sustainability science and policy at Northeastern University’s School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs, 1/27/23

“On Jan. 10, Federal Reserve (Fed) Chair Jerome Powell explained that if the U.S. central bank is to maintain its independence, it cannot “and will not be, a climate policymaker.” While California suffers in the wake of unprecedented flooding, estimated to cost over $30 billion in losses, Powell insists “it would be inappropriate for us to use our monetary policy or supervisory tools to promote a greener economy.” This is a narrow, short-sighted interpretation of the Fed’s mandate, and a potentially dangerous and misguided view on what the Fed’s independence means,” Akiksha Chatterji and Jennie C. Stephens write for The Hill. “The Fed’s independence is intended to ensure independence from political cycles — it does not absolve the Fed of its duties to serve the public interest. All of the Fed’s functions and core responsibilities are deeply intertwined with and impacted by the climate crisis. By feigning independence, the Fed seems to be caving to reportedly false arguments made by financial institutions, the fossil fuel industry and its political allies — actors with strong incentives to thwart the clean energy transition. Powell’s claim that climate change is too political shows just how out of touch he is with reality. The climate crisis and ecological collapse are seriously undermining the stability of our entire economy and the planet, and that demands a central bank response… “Powell has justified his position in part by claiming the Fed’s actions shouldn’t pick winners and losers. But, in reality, all central bank decisions — even interest rate tinkering — creates winners and losers. Some people and financial institutions benefit while already marginalized and vulnerable communities are worse off… “The Fed is not expected to lead the fight against climate change, but it does have a critical role to play. Powell has a choice: he can continue to ignore the Fed’s core duties and leave the economy (and communities) vulnerable to destabilizing chaos, or he can use the Fed’s tools to bolster economic security and resilience. It is simply not possible for the U.S. central bank to remain neutral on climate.” We’ve got big money on our side to challenge fossil fuel financing banks.

“Our work to build momentum for financial institutions to phase out fossil fuel investments and prioritize a climate-safe economy kicked off the new year with a bang, with one of the world’s most powerful institutional investors stepping up,” writes. “The New York City Comptroller’s office, which manages the City’s $242.38 billion pension funds, filed a climate shareholder resolution at the Royal Bank of Canada, calling for RBC to set absolute emissions reduction targets for energy and utility clients to be met in 2030. RBC is one of the largest financiers of fossil fuels in the world, pumping more than $200 billion into coal, oil and gas since the Paris Climate Agreement was signed in 2016. Comptroller Brad Lander is demonstrating real climate leadership, wielding the funds’ billions of dollars in institutional investor power demanding banks stop financing fossil fuel pollution. He filed similar resolutions at JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs, as well as co-filed with the New York State Comptroller’s Office (valued at $265 billion) at Bank of America.  This latest news means we have big money on our side in the fight against banks refusing to phase down financing of companies that are expanding fossil fuel projects like poisonous tar sands pipelines, fracked gas terminals, and toxic oil wells. New, unnecessary projects risk locking us into decades of fossil fuel use at a time when we need to rapidly scale down. This action from the New York City Comptroller is exactly the kind of climate leadership institutional investors around the world must take. This is one of the biggest institutional investors in the world stepping forward to challenge banks’ lending and underwriting practices to align with science and justice… “Alongside New York City’s climate resolutions, the Sierra Club Foundation, Harrington, and Trillium Asset Management with the support of Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) and As You Sow filed resolutions at big U.S. fossil banks calling for an end to financing of fossil fuel expansion and the disclosure of robust transition plans for the banks.  These resolutions are filed amidst a growing recognition that banks need to cut financing and investing in fossil fuel expansionists and phase down all financing of coal, oil and gas. Banks need to be part of the solution, not further exacerbating the problem.”

The Hill: The world loses when Big Oil holds all the cards
William S. Becker is a former U.S. Department of Energy central regional director, 1/29/23 

“Imagine that the future of civilization is being decided at a poker table. The four players are the chairman of ExxonMobil, the distinguished climate scientist James Hansen, climate activist Greta Thunberg, and the mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida, one of America’s most flood-prone cities,” William S. Becker writes for The Hill. “The game is Texas Hold’em. The players place their bets as the dealer distributes the cards and reveals the flop, turn and river. When it’s time to reveal their cards, Exxon shows a royal flush, the strongest possible hand. The odds against drawing such a hand are about 650,000-to-1. The other players might dismiss this as luck, except Exxon always wins, often with royal flushes. Something like this is happening in courtrooms worldwide, with communities and citizens suing oil companies and their associations in cases alleging they misled the public about global climate change. At least 20 cities and states in the U.S. are seeking damages and other sanctions, charging the industry with covering up its own science that fossil-fuel pollution is causing the Earth to warm… “In the United States last year, the oil industry spent more than $90 million on more than 700 lobbyists to push back against policies to reduce oil and gas production… “Last year, oil and gas spent nearly $30 million on congressional election campaigns. Fossil-fuel investors are holding some powerful cards, too. Another peer-reviewed study estimated that international efforts to limit new oil and gas development could result in up to $340 billion in legal claims from investors that want to recoup their losses. Asked about cities, states and citizens taking Big Oil to court, a Shell spokesman responded with doublespeak. “Addressing a challenge as big as climate change requires a truly collaborative, society-wide approach,” the spokesman reportedly said. “We do not believe the courtroom is the right venue to address climate change, but that smart policy from government, supported by action from all business sectors, including ours, and from society, is the appropriate way to reach solutions and drive progress.” Clean-energy advocates have been willing to come to the table, but it hardly seems worth it when Big Oil holds all the cards, carries a big gun and plays by its own rules.”

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