The scoop: Below-freezing temperatures blasted the southern US this week, prompting rolling blackouts over the past few days.
- Texas was not prepared to deal with the energy demand spikes.
- Natural gas & coal were not sufficient, renewables failed in freezing temperatures.
- America still needs a cocktail of energy supply to meet increasing consumer demand.
Zoom out: The Texas energy security issue is something every American should pay attention to. How can we carefully adopt a renewable-first economy without compromising reliability?
Dig deeper → 3 min
Busy? Try the speed read.
The scoop: 600 gallons of oil spilled into the San Francisco Bay yesterday from a Chevron refinery.
Some notes on the disaster:
- Solutions exist, restoration efforts are more innovative, why does this keep happening?
- Media tends to direct focus on corporations and federal government, but what role do local politics play in preventing environmental disasters?
Food for thought:
Looking back at the Chevron oil spill of 2021, we should be asking ourselves:
- Why did the oil spill happen?
- What actors played a role in this disaster?
- What steps can these actors take to prevent it from ever happening again?
Bottom line: If the answer is primarily political, sadly, it may not happen fast enough to stop the next disaster.
Dig deeper → 3 min
The Scoop Two new cases in Minnesota and Washington, D.C. add to the growing body of lawsuits trying to hold Big Oil accountable for deliberately concealing their role in harming environmental and human health.
Breaking down the lawsuits
- Minnesota’s Attorney General (AG) is suing Exxon Mobil Corporation, Koch Industries and the American Petroleum Institute for violating Minnesota laws against consumer fraud, deceptive trade practices, and false advertising. The lawsuit claims that oil and gas companies were aware of the environmental and health effects of their products as far back as the 1970s and 80s, but launched a “campaign of deception.”
- Washington D.C.’s AG similarly is suing ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP and Shell for “systematically and intentionally misl[eading] consumers in Washington, D.C. about the central role their products play in causing climate change.” in violation of Washington D.C.’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act.
Why it matters By charging Big Oil with consumer fraud, Minnesota and Washington D.C.’s cases closely resemble lawsuits against Big Tobacco in the 1990s which charged Big Tobacco with suppressing evidence for the dangers of smoking and misleading the public. With the clear similarities between these cases, there is hope for similar verdicts; including, heavy penalties (up to $6.5 billion) that could fund climate change resiliency programs.
Dig deeper → 5 min