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Exxon's Business Ambition Collided with Climate Change Under a Distant Sea

Throughout the 1980s, the company struggled to solve the carbon problem of one of the biggest gas fields in the world out of concern for climate impacts.

by Neela Banerjee & Lisa Song

Oct 8, 2015

In 1980, as Exxon Corp. set out to develop one of the world's largest deposits of natural gas, it found itself facing an unfamiliar risk: the project would emit immense amounts of carbon dioxide, adding to the looming threat of climate change.

The problem cropped up shortly after Exxon signed a contract with the Indonesian state oil company to exploit the Natuna gas field in the South China Sea—big enough to supply the blossoming markets of Japan, Taiwan and Korea with liquefied natural gas into the 21st century.

Highlighting the Allure of Synfuels, Exxon Played Down the Climate Risks

In the 1980s, Exxon lobbied to replace scarce oil with synthetic fossil fuels, but it glossed over the high carbon footprint associated with synfuels.

Oct 8, 2015

Early in the 1980s, the lingering fear of oil scarcity and the emerging threat of climate change were beginning to intersect. And at that junction stood Exxon Corp., working out its strategy for survival in the uncertain 21st century.

Climate Scientist Faces Backlash for Urging Investigation of Fossil Fuel Companies

Jagadish Shukla will be questioned by a Congressional committee after he and other scientists called for a racketeering probe of deliberate climate denial.

Oct 7, 2015

This story was updated on Oct. 7 at 2:00 p.m. 

A climate scientist who was the lead signatory on a letter urging President Obama to launch a federal investigation into whether fossil fuel companies "knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change" is now facing an investigation by Congress because of his part in the letter.

Ozone, Mercury, Ash, CO2: Regulations Take on Coal’s Dirty Underside

The industry complains about the constant stream of regulations, but others say the Obama administration’s focus on public health is long overdue.

Oct 7, 2015

When the EPA tightened the national standard for ozone pollution last week, the coal industry and its allies saw it as a costly, unnecessary burden, another volley in what some have called the war on coal.

Climate Treaty Forecast: Cloudy With a Chance of Disaster

More than 140 countries have submitted pledges for the UN's global climate talks. Will they accomplish enough to save the Earth?

Oct 6, 2015

If the climate pledges countries have submitted are any indication of whether the world can save itself with a global climate treaty, the planet doesn’t stand a chance.

Natural Gas Flaring: Critics and Industry Square Off Over Emissions

Environmental group claims industry gets millions in a hidden subsidy for releasing greenhouse gases, but drilling company disputes findings.

By Phil McKenna

Oct 5, 2015

The royalty-free flaring of natural gas from wells on public and tribal lands amounts to a hidden federal subsidy worth tens of millions of dollars, according to a new study by the environmental group Friends of the Earth that focused on the industry in North Dakota.

Exxon Gets Fine, Harsh Criticism for Negligence in Pegasus Pipeline Spill

Federal pipeline safety officials levy a $2.6 million fine along with demands that Exxon better monitor the vulnerable structure for potential failure.

Oct 2, 2015

This story was updated on Oct. 2, 2:30 p.m.

ExxonMobil has been hit with a $2.6 million fine and harshly criticized by federal safety officials for failing to maintain an aging oil pipeline that burst two years ago in a quiet Arkansas neighborhood and sent heavy crude oil flowing through the streets.

India Promises to Slash Emissions, but Wants Help

The third-largest carbon polluter says it needs $2.5 trillion over the next 15 years to transition to clean energy and adapt to climate change.

Oct 2, 2015

India submitted its long-awaited climate pledge on Thursday, vowing to reduce the intensity of its emissions 33 to 35 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

Too Cozy with Coal? Group Charges Feds Are Rubber-Stamping Mine Approvals

A lawsuit by WildEarth Guardians claims regulators ignore climate impacts in approving mine expansions on federal land in the Rocky Mountains.

Oct 2, 2015

Environmental advocates are suing federal officials, alleging they approved the expansion of four Western coal mines on public lands without adequately taking their climate impacts into account.

The New Mexico-based group WildEarth Guardians is accusing the U.S.  Department of the Interior of rubber-stamping coal mine expansions in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming without comprehensive environmental reviews, according to a lawsuit filed Sept. 15 in the U.S. District Court of Colorado. The Interior department oversees the leasing of public lands for fossil fuel extraction.

After Boehner, Could the House Get Even Less Climate Friendly?

John Boehner's likely replacement as speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy of California, inspires little hope among environmentalists.

Oct 1, 2015

In the week since Rep. John Boehner made the surprise announcement he will leave Congress at the end of October, the contentious factions of the GOP have been jockeying over who should replace Boehner as speaker of the House.