The fantasy of oil and gas

Darren Woods, Joe Manchin, and Milli Vanilli


S&P Global’s CERAWeek is a safe space for the criminals who run the global fossil-fuel industry to gather and explain how they’re going to continue to profit from the destruction of civilizational survivability. Here’s a taste of what was said yesterday in Houston:

We should abandon the fantasy of phasing out oil and gas, and instead invest in them adequately.” Amin Nasser, CEO of Saudi Aramco

“If we rush [to replace fossil fuels] or if things go the wrong way, we’ll have a crisis that we will never forget.” — Petrobras CEO Jean Paul Prates

“If you go too quick, too fast, you could backfire. I think we must find a gradual pace to make the transition. I know the scientists say it is urgent, but unfortunately, society really is conscious of price.” — Total Energy CEO Patrick Pouyanné

“I think one of the challenges is the way the problem has been stated in the past is, ‘We need to get rid of fossil fuels and natural gas, crude, and coal.’ And I think what we should stay focused on is, ‘We need to get rid of the emissions associated with the combustion of those things.’” — ExxonMobil CEO Darren Woods

You cannot eliminate your way to a clean environment. You can innovate through technology.” — Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)

Chris Tomlinson calls this the Milli Vanilli defense.

And Mike Sommers, CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, as quoted in Axios Generate Presented by Chevron, celebrated the murderous energy suck of universal paperclips:

“AI and data centers are going to require a lot more energy, and that means a lot more energy produced. They're going to need energy that can run 24 hours. And what that means is we’re going to need a lot more natural gas.” 

To their credit, White House climate envoy John Podesta and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm sang a different tune. “Climate is on the ballot,” Podesta argued. “Consumers are calling for change. Communities are calling for change. Investors are calling for change,” Granholm said.

But it was only Environmental Defense Fund’s Mark Brownstein who spoke the unvarnished truth to fossil power:

“There’s no way that we can hope to stabilize the climate in anything approaching livable and continue to produce and use oil and gas in anywhere close to what we’re doing today. That’s true for the United States. That’s true for the rest of the world.”

Houston’s environmental justice activists were shut out—even ones like Port Arthur Community Action Network founder John Beard and Fenceline Watch founder Yvette Arellano, who paid for $8,500 tickets, only to have them cancelled without explanation.

The reliably strategic climate politics group Lead Locally has announced its first slate of downballot Green New Dealer candidates:

  • For the Pennsylvania state legislature, Ashley Comans (HD-34, Pittsburgh), Cass Green (HD-10, Philadelphia), Andre Carroll (HD-201, Philadelphia), and Anna Thomas (HD-Northampton County). The primary election is April 23rd.

  • For the New York state legislature, Claire Cousin (AD-106, Germantown), Claire Valdez (AD-37, Queens), Jonathan Soto (AD-82, Bronx), and Eon Tyrell Huntley (AD-56, Brooklyn).

  • For the Oregon state house, Doyle Canning (HD-8, Eugene).

If you can, chip in some of your time and treasure for these great Green New Dealers.

don't eat at the restaurants, just go to the general store and warm up some macking cheese in the michael wave

FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF SOOT: I suppose this is a good news story for those living in Australia, Estonia, Finland, Grenada, Iceland, Mauritius and New Zealand: “Only seven countries are meeting an international air quality standard, with deadly air pollution worsening in places due to a rebound in economic activity and the toxic impact of wildfire smoke, a new report has found.”

It’s increasingly clear that this air pollution—fine-particulate soot—is the primary cause of dementia, which was very rare in ancient Greece and is similarly very rare among the Tsimane of the Bolivian Amazon.

And as James Bruggers writes, environmental groups are fighting to stop the Biden administration from making wood-burning eligible for the Inflation Reduction Act’s massive renewable-energy tax credits, which would radically worsen soot pollution and accelerate global warming (but which would make the timber industry very rich).

Some other tales of climate criminals….

Patrick Greenfield and Nyasha Chingono further research the Kariba carbon credit scheme, in which more than $100 million was scammed in the name of protecting forests in Zimbabwe, interviewing the locals there who never saw any of the cash. The credits were verified by Verra, which runs “the world’s most widely used greenhouse gas (GHG) crediting program.” Funny, though:

Under the rules of Verra – which approves three-quarters of all voluntary carbon offsets – project developers are not required to disclose or audit where the money from credits goes.

Nidhi Sharma and Lauren Wilson head to the ghost town of Cameron, La., decimated by the hurricanes and sea level rise fueled by Louisiana’s fossil-fuel industry, now potentially the site of a gargantuan liquified natural gas export terminal, CP2 LNG. The few residents who remain cling to the promise of the economic dregs of the industry destroying their beloved home.

Up to 10 informants managed by the FBI were embedded in anti-pipeline resistance camps near the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation at the height of mass protests against the Dakota Access pipeline in 2016.”

What are people in their 20s up to? Dunno, hope they’re having a good time, I support them in their endeavors to survive this fucking hellscape.

Finally: Ben Folds Fifth.

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