Exxon Feels the Heat and Responds to the Divestment Movement  

The global fossil fuel divestment movement has been gaining a lot of steam over the past year, enough to elicit a response from one of the largest oil companies in the world – ExxonMobil. In a blog posted to their website, the oil giant attempted to explain why the continued use of oil, gas, and coal to power our economies is the only viable way forward, while dismissing both the potential of renewable sources of energy and the costs imposed by a changing climate. The reality is that fossil fuels still provide the lion’s share of the global energy supply, but the assertion that it has to be this way couldn’t be farther from the truth. In the blog post, Exxon outlines their case for fossil fuels, stating “divestment represents a diversion from the real search for technological solutions to managing climate risks.” Exxon’s idea of a technological solution to managing a climate risk, of course, is the natural gas boom currently underway in the United States. In addition to creating plenty of jobs along the supply chain and accounting for a sizeable chunk of the nation’s GDP, natural gas is supposedly responsible for the return to 1990’s emissions levels that the US has experienced over the past few years. Even ignoring the obvious environmental risks to soil, air, and groundwater associated with natural gas production, fugitive methane emissions from drilling sites are often understated and likely have a greater […]

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GREEN YOUR SCHOOL: Fossil Free Stanford

Stanford students unite to "X out" the fossil fuel industry. Photo by Kira Mineheart

As students start getting ready to go back to school, some of them are also getting ready to embark upon a new year of greening their campuses. Green America editorial fellow Sari Amiel discovered five inspiring examples of how students are making their campuses more socially just and environmentally sustainable. Every Monday and Wednesday from August 14th through August 27th, we’ll post one […]

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Wind Energy Project Faces Political Roadblocks in Maryland

Wind power is at risk in Maryland. That is why this past week Green America, along with 20 other environmental groups called on Senator Barbara Mikulski (MD) to revise a bill that would halt efforts to construct an onshore wind energy project in Somerset County, MD. You can read a copy of the letter here. Green America, the American Sustainable Business Council, and the Chesapeake Sustainable Business Council also sent a letter to Senator Mikulski on behalf of hundreds of Maryland Businesses encouraging her to permit the wind farm to go forward. Senator Mikulski added language to The Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2015 that would require Pioneer Green Energy to wait to begin construction on the Great Bay Wind Project until an independent study from MIT concerning the effects of wind turbines on naval radar testing at the Patuxent River Naval Base (Pax River Base) is completed. The issue arises from the Pax River Base’s highly sensitive radar system designed to test the stealthiness of fighter jets and weather wind turbines will interfere with the radar system. But, Senator Mikulski’s concerns are unfounded, as Pioneer and Pax River have already agreed that the turbines may be turned off during routine radar testing, with no interference to the military’s activities. Federal law states that the military must cooperate with alternative energy developers, and Pioneer says it expects the Navy to work with the company in order to reach an […]

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Food for Thought: The Tide is Turning Against Fossil Fuels

Investors are moving away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy investments.

  Food for Thought is a new series of blogs written by Green America President/CEO Alisa Gravitz discussing trending green economy topics, innovative ideas in the environmental sphere, and more. Two articles I  read this summer show major shifts in the investor world against fossil fuels and for renewable energy. The first is a momentous article published in July in The Telegraph. […]

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Cove Point: Clear and Present Danger 

Never mind that exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Asian markets would cause U.S. energy prices to rise. Never mind that opening up an export facility on the Maryland Eastern Shore would create incentives to open up Marcellus Shale deposits for gas production in the western region of the state. Even if we look past the massive greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution, and other environmental catastrophes associated with natural gas production, the planned LNG export facility in Cove Point raises a serious and immediate concern: safety. In April, the assistant fire chief of the Solomons Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad stepped down from his post after expressing safety concerns over the Cove Point project. The concerns arose from the fact that the department had not received any formal LNG safety training, and was not prepared to deal with a potential catastrophic explosion. While responding to an LNG emergency would first be the responsibility of Calvert County, any volunteer without proper equipment or training is at a serious risk in doing so.  A representative from Dominion stated that they were working with the county to educate volunteers on the hazards and risks of LNG. So what exactly makes LNG so dangerous? Converting natural gas into its liquid form requires chilling the gas to -161.5o C (258.7o F) using massive refrigerant compressors. These compressors, powered by natural gas themselves, circulate the gas at close to atmospheric pressure until it becomes a […]

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New Tool for Fossil Fuel Divestment

Fossil Free

  The Fossil Free Index tracks the stock market’s performance, minus the oil, gas, and coal industries.  Given the link between burning fossil fuels and global climate change, financial professionals are increasingly searching for investment opportunities that exclude oil, gas, and coal companies. Fossil-Free Indexes LLC (FFI), an environmental, social, and governance index and research company released its first broad […]

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Chesapeake Region Businesses Oppose Fracked Gas Exports & Call for Clean Energy

Stop Gas Exports

It’s particularly difficult for me to understand the denial that fracking has devastating consequences. It’s all about fast money for corporations. — Michael Penny, Savvy Rest, Inc. This terminal will expand and lock-in unsustainable fracking for a generation, permanently damaging communities and causing a vast amount of greenhouse gas emissions. However, most importantly for FERC and in direct opposition to […]

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