Exxon Mobil has been rate AAA by S&P since 1930 according to Bloomberg. Today that ended as the global crude explorer with sales that dwarf the economies of most nations was cut to AA+ (Outlook stable). Having been put on notice in February (negative watch), citing concern that credit measures would remain weak through 2018. XOM stock is sliding and weighing on The Dow (back below 18,000).…
* * *
Last May, when the Obama administration was furiously cracking down on the Kremlin in the aftermath of the CIA-backed Ukraine presidential coup and the resulting “territorial expansion” by Russia which promptly took over the Crimea peninsula (and is on its way to annexing the Donetsk republic) with attempts to “isolate” Russia, one prominent US company dared to defy the White House embargo and extended its partnership with Moscow.
This is what we posted last May: “Several of the largest oil companies in the world are doubling down in Russia despite moves by the West to isolate Russia and its economy. ExxonMobil and BP separately signed agreements with Rosneft – Russia’s state-owned oil company – to extend and deepen their relationships for energy exploration. The U.S. slapped sanctions on Rosneft’s CEO Igor Sechin in late April, freezing his assets and preventing him from obtaining visas. Continue reading »
– How Lobbyists for Monsanto, Exxon Mobil, Microsoft and the Telecom Industry are Bundling Funds for Hillary (Liberty Blitzkrieg, July 21, 2015):
The pantsuit revolutionary is at it again. Once again demonstrating her populist chops by employing the services of lobbyists to bundle millions in campaign funds. It’s no wonder opinion polls on her have been plunging as of late.
– Explosion at Exxon Refinery In Southern California – Live Feed (ZeroHedge, Feb 18, 2015):
It’s not been a good week for oil safety in America. Following the derailment earlier in the week, CBS now reports an explosion at Exxon Mobil’s Torrance, California refinery (processes an average of 155,000 barrels of crude oil per day) occured at 850amPT…
*EXXON SAYS EMERGENCY PROCEDURES ACTIVATED AT TORRANCE REFINERY
*EXXON TORRANCE SAID TO HAVE EXPLOSION IN FCC
While dismissed as ‘normal flaring’ to begin with, Exxon has confirmed it is not and “shelter in place” has been ordered as ash is falling up to 3 miles away.
From the article:
“And this is just in Q4 – the Q1 slaughter has yet to be unveiled!“
Moments ago, following our chart showing the devastation in Q1 earning forecasts, Exxon Mobil came out with its Q4 earnings, and – as tends to happen when analysts take a butcher knife to estimates – beat EPS handily, when it reported $1.56 in EPS, above the $1.34 expected, if still 18% below the $1.91 Q4 EPS print from a year earlier. A primary contributing factor to this beat was surely the $3 billion in Q4 stock buybacks, with another $2.9 billion distributed to shareholders mostly in the form of dividends. Overall, XOM distributed $23.6 billion to shareholders in 2014 through dividends and share purchases to reduce shares outstanding. Continue reading »
The following is a comment by reader vjklmno:
ROTHSCHILDS THROUGH MONSANTO, GOLDMAN SACHS, EXXON, GOOGLE, OBAMA, NATO, RENZI AND MERKEL PUSH FOR NEW WORLD ORDER
” WTO: Global trade to gain speed in 2014 and 2015 14 April 2014
The agency’s director general, Roberto Azevedo, said that just waiting for an automatic increase in trade was not enough.
He called for new trade liberalisation agreements, in particular the negotiations known as the Doha Round. ” http://www.bbc.com/news/business-27025011
AMONG THESE NEW TRADE LIBERALISATION AGREEMENTS THERE ARE THE TTIP (TRANSATLANTIC TRADE AND INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP) AND THE TPP (TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP).
” The threat of the US-EU trade deal http://morningstaronline.co.uk/a-6dea-The-threat-of-the-US-EU-trade-deal
Friday 28th Februay 2014
Tags: Angela Merkel, Barack Obama, Dick Cheney, Dictatorship, Exxon, Fascism, Food, Genetically Modified Organisms, Global News, GMO, Goldman Sachs, Google, Government, Monsanto, NATO, New World Order, Obama administration, Politics, Queen Elizabeth, Rothschild, TPP, TTIP, U.S., WTO
– BP, not Exxon, caused the Exxon Valdez disaster (Intrepid Report, March 26, 2014):
by Greg Palast
Two decades ago, I was the investigator for the legal team that sold you the bullshit that a drunken captain was the principal cause of the Exxon Valdez disaster, the oil tanker crackup that poisoned over a thousand miles of Alaska’s coastline 25 years ago on March 24, 1989.
The truth is far uglier, and the real culprit—British Petroleum, now BP—got away without a scratch to its reputation or to its pocketbook.
Just this month, the Obama administration authorized BP to return to drilling in the Gulf.
It would be worth the time of our ever-trusting regulators to take a look at my Exxon Valdez files on BP. They would see a decades-long pattern of BP’s lies, bribes and cover-ups that led, inexorably, to the Deepwater Horizon blowout—and that continue today within BP’s worldwide oil operations.
Here’s a sample: Continue reading »
– Exxon CEO Joins Suit Citing Fracking Concerns (Wall Street Journal, Feb 20, 2014):
Residents of Dallas Suburb Fight Construction of Tower That Would Provide Water for Drilling
BARTONVILLE, Texas—One evening last November, a tall, white-haired man turned up at a Town Council meeting to protest construction of a water tower near his home in this wealthy community outside Dallas.
The man was Rex Tillerson, chairman and chief executive of Exxon Mobil Corp.
He and his neighbors had filed suit to block the tower, saying it is illegal and would create “a noise nuisance and traffic hazards,” in part because it would provide water for use in hydraulic fracturing. Fracking, which requires heavy trucks to haul and pump massive amounts of water, unlocks oil and gas from dense rock and has helped touch off a surge in U.S. energy output.
It also is a core part of Exxon’s business.
– Exxon CEO troubled by fracking-related water tank in his neighbourhood (The Globe And Mail, Feb 24, 2014):
Tillerson fights tower
Rex Tillerson’s company may be a big player in fracking, but the chief executive of Exxon Mobil Corp. has a problem with what the related issues could mean to the value of his ranch.
The chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corp., a major player where the controversial technique is concerned, is among a group of citizens in Bartonville, near Dallas, who are opposing a massive tower that would supply water for fracking.
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, pumps water and chemicals underground to break up rock and push gas or oil to the surface, and there are huge environmental concerns surrounding the practice.
Citizens of Bartonville, described as a wealthy community, which you’d expect given that it houses the chief of Exxon, have sued to try to stop the tower.
– The Internet Is Now Weaponized, And You Are The Target (ZeroHedge, Nov 15, 2013):
By now, thanks to Edward Snowden, it is common knowledge and not just conspiracy theory, that every bit of information sent out into the wired or wireless ether is scanned, probed, intercepted and ultimately recorded by the NSA and subsequently all such information is and can be used against any US citizen without a court of law (because the president’s pet secret NISA “court” is anything but). Sadly, in a country in which courtesy of peak social networking, exhibitionism has become an art form, the vast majority of Americans not only could not care less about Snowden’s sacrificial revelations, but in fact are delighted the at least someone, somewhere cares about that photo of last night’s dinner. However, it turns out that far from being a passive listener and recorder, the NSA is quite an active participant in using the internet. The weaponized internet.
Because as Wired reports, “The internet backbone — the infrastructure of networks upon which internet traffic travels — went from being a passive infrastructure for communication to an active weapon for attacks.” And the primary benefactor: the NSA – General Keith Alexander massive secret army – which has now been unleashed against enemies foreign, but mostly domestic.
Enter the QUANTUM program…. Continue reading »
– Big Oil’s Central Asian Mafia (Veterans Today, Aug 6, 2013)
(Excerpted from Big Oil & Their Bankers: Chapter 17: Caspian Sea Oil Grab)
According to Kurt Wulff of the oil investment firm McDep Associates, the Four Horsemen, romping in their new Far East pastures, saw asset increases from 1988-1994 as follows: Exxon Mobil- 54%, Chevron Texaco- 74%, Royal Dutch/Shell- 52% and BP Amoco- 54%. Big Oil had more than doubled its collective assets in six short years.
This quantum leap in global power had everything to do withthe takeover of the old Soviet oil patch and the subsequent impoverishment of its birthright owners.
While the Four Horsemen gorged on Russian and Central Asian oil, Wall Street investment bankers were facilitating the oil grab and ripping off the Russian Treasury.
Salomon Smith Barney’s Phibro Energy oil trading subsidiary set up shop in Moscow. Goldman Sachs was hired by Yeltsin to lure foreign capital to Russia. Heading the Russian Goldman Sachs team was Robert Rubin, later Clinton Secretary of Treasury & Citigroup CEO. CS First Boston took a 20% stake in Lukoil, in partnership with BP Amoco. Continue reading »
Tags: 9/11, Afghanistan, Al-Qaeda, Al-Qaida, Banking, Bilderberg, Bill Clinton, BP, Bush administration, CFR, Chechnya, Chevron, China, CIA, Citigroup, cocaine, Columbia, Corruption, Dagestan, Dick Cheney, Drugs, Economy, Exxon, FBI, FSB, George Bush, Georgia, Global News, Goldman Sachs, Government, Halliburton, Harvard, Heroin, India, Kashmir, Kellogg Brown & Root, Kosovo, Lukoil, Manuel Salgado, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Mikhail Saakashvili, Mossad, NATO, Opium, Osama Bin Laden, Pakistan, Politics, Prostitution, Robert Rubin, Russia, SEC, Shell, Tajikistan, Taliban, Terrorism, U.S., Uzbekistan, Wall Street, World Bank, Yugoslavia, Yukos Oil, Zbigniew Brzezinski
– China Is Reaping Biggest Benefits of Iraq Oil Boom (New York Times, June 2, 2013):
BAGHDAD — Since the American-led invasion of 2003, Iraq has become one of the world’s top oil producers, and China is now its biggest customer.
China already buys nearly half the oil that Iraq produces, nearly 1.5 million barrels a day, and is angling for an even bigger share, bidding for a stake now owned by Exxon Mobil in one of Iraq’s largest oil fields.
“The Chinese are the biggest beneficiary of this post-Saddam oil boom in Iraq,” said Denise Natali, a Middle East expert at the National Defense University in Washington. “They need energy, and they want to get into the market.”
– Must Watch Video: Is the NDAA Lawsuit Headed to the Supreme Court? (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Feb 7, 2013):
The NDAA lawsuit is one of the key topics I have written about over the past year or so. For those of you that aren’t up to speed, one of the most popular posts I ever wrote was NDAA: The Most Important Lawsuit in American History that No One is Talking About. Basically, Section 1021 of the NDAA allows for the indefinite detention of American citizens without charges or a trial. Journalist Chris Hedges and several others sued Obama on the grounds of it being unconstitutional. Judge Katherine Forrest agreed and issued an injunction on it. This was immediately appealed by the Obama Administration to a higher court, which promptly issued a temporary stay on the injunction.
Yesterday, oral arguments began in front of this aforementioned higher court; the 2nd Circuit. As Chris Hedges states in the interview below, if they win the case then it will likely be brought in front of the Supreme Court within weeks. On the other hand, if the Obama Administration wins and the Supreme Court refuses to hear the appeal, Hedges states: “at that point we’ve just become a military dictatorship.”
To get a full update on the progress of the NDAA lawsuit make sure to watch this video.
Tags: Barack Obama, Bush administration, Chris Hedges, Constitution, Dictatorship, Exxon, Fascism, George Bush, Global News, Goldman Sachs, Government, Law, Middle East, Military, NDAA, New World Order, Obama administration, Politics, Raytheon, Society, Supreme Court, U.S., War
– 10 Most Profitable U.S. Companies Paid 9% in Federal Income Taxes (AllGov, Aug 18, 2012):
The largest corporations in the U.S., consisting of oil, retail, banking and technology giants, paid an average of only 9% of their earnings in income taxes to the Internal Revenue Service last year.
According to the tax code, companies are supposed to pay 35% income tax. But NerdWallet determined that the top 10 came nowhere near that.
Exxon Mobil, the country’s biggest business, made more than $73 billion in 2011, but paid only $1.5 billion to the IRS.
The second largest company, Chevron, paid $1.9 billion in taxes after collecting $47.6 billion in revenue.
No. 3 on the list, Apple, made $34.2 billion. It paid $3.9 billion to the IRS.
These were followed by: Continue reading »
– Fallujah Veteran: ‘I Served The 1%’ (Information Clearinghouse, Nov. 08, 2011):
Thoughts on the role of veterans in the Occupy movement
I did not serve my country in Iraq; I served the 1%. It was on their behalf that I helped lay siege to Fallujah, helped kill thousands of civilians, helped displace hundreds of thousands of innocent people, and helped destroy an entire city. My “service” served Exxon-Mobil, Halliburton, KBR, Blackwater, and other multinational corporations in Iraq.
My family in Massachusetts is not safer because of my service, and Iraqis are not freer. I helped oppress Iraqis in a manner far more brutal than what has been experienced by the Occupy movement at the hands of the New York and Oakland police departments.
I was an occupier and am now an #occupier. I once served the 1%, but now try to serve the 99%. That is why I must speak up when I see the Occupy movement being led astray by the same nationalism and “Ameri-centrism,” the same thoughtless praises for U.S. troops and veterans, and the same hypocrisy that led us into the so-called “War On Terror” and the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Many of us have joined the Occupy movement, because we identify as members of the 99%, but the media only began to highlight our participation after Cpl. Scott Olsen was shot in the head by the Oakland police with a projectile on Oct. 25. Olsen was immediately rushed to the emergency room, and his name soon became a rallying cry. A nationwide call was put out for vigils in solidarity with Olsen.
Going to war is not “serving our country”
The Occupy movement was quick to highlight Olsen’s “service” and his two deployments to Iraq. The New York Times noted that “his injury—and the oddity of a Marine who faced enemy fire only to be attacked at home—has prompted an outpouring of sympathy, as well as calls for solidarity.”
Although Olsen appears to oppose the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—he is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War and Veterans For Peace,—the Occupy movement’s response to his attack has revealed ambivalence on these issues.
The Occupy movement has glossed over the irony that Olsen was put in the hospital by some of the same tactics that his Marine Corps has used against Iraqis. It has not drawn a connection between what happened to Olsen and what happened to Iraqis who peacefully protested against the U.S. occupation of their country—like in Fallujah on April 28, 2003, when the U.S. fired into a crowd of protesters and killed 13 civilians. Countless other identical incidents have taken place, even today as Iraqis also protest unemployment, corruption and lack of services.
When the Occupy movement mentions Olsen’s “service” without clarifying who he served, they hide the lies of the 1% and ignore the more than 1 million dead Iraqis, the millions of refugees and orphans, and the dramatic rise in cancers and birth defects in Iraq.
We must stand for the most affected victims of Wall Street
I watched a Youtube video the other day of U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Shamar Thomas shouting at the NYPD: “If you want to go kill or hurt people, go to Iraq. Why are you hurting U.S. citizens?” as a crowd of Occupy Wall Street protesters cheered him on.
Over 2.5 million people have watched this video, and Thomas appeared on Rosie O’Donnell’s television show and made several appearances on Keith Olbermann. Everyone championed his “service” and decried police brutality against U.S. citizens. Nobody questioned the dismissal of the value of Iraqi lives.
We should all decry police brutality wherever it rears its ugly head. Yet police brutality and the murder of innocent civilians in foreign countries in service of the 1% are both moral issues, and to decry one without decrying the other suggests a serious disconnect.
These attitudes in our movement are deeply troubling to me. We decry economic injustice at home, but stay silent about the unjust occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. We decry police brutality at home, while the U.S. war machine brutalizes innocent people abroad. We need to understand that Iraqis, Afghans, Palestinians, Libyans and everyone else who has fallen victim to the 1% and its war machine are part of the 99%, too.
We can love our country, but we should not value American lives more than any other. We can set up a Scott Olsen Support Fund, but we should not ignore the rise in cancers and birth defects that U.S. weapons have caused in Iraq.
Veterans have an important role to play in this movement, but we are not heroes because of our participation in the wars, and it is shameful for anyone to use us to appeal to patriotism; that only serves the 1%. What we have to offer this movement is a first-hand account of what the 1% has done all over the world at the expense of the 99%. We as veterans are in a better position than anyone else to fight against the dangerous beliefs that put veterans on a pedestal. It is our responsibility to speak out against injustice, no matter where it occurs in this world.
The author is a Marine Corps veteran of the second siege of Fallujah and a member of March Forward!. He is the founder of the ‘Justice for Fallujah Project’ which will host various events during the second annual ‘Remember Fallujah Week,’ Nov. 16-19. Click here for more information.
This item was first published at www.answercoalition.org
– Exxon Mobil to Face Indonesia Human Rights Claims, U.S. Appeals Court Says (Bloomberg, July 8, 2011):
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) must face claims it aided and abetted murder, torture and sexual assault by its security forces in Indonesia’s Aceh province, a federal appeals court ruled, reinstating a lawsuit thrown out by a lower court.
In a 2-1 decision today, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington said Exxon Mobil didn’t have corporate immunity from claims filed by 15 Indonesian villagers under the Alien Tort Statute. The court reversed the ruling of a trial judge who said the villagers couldn’t use U.S. courts to sue over alleged actions that took place in Indonesia and involved the Indonesian military during a period of martial law.
“It would create a bizarre anomaly to immunize corporations from liability for the conduct of their agents in lawsuits brought for ‘shockingly egregious violations of universally recognized principles of international law,’” Judge Judith Rogers wrote in her 112-page opinion.
– Documents detail Exxon’s Yellowstone response (AP, July 6, 2011):
LAUREL, Mont. (AP) — Federal documents show it took Exxon Mobil nearly twice as long as it publicly disclosed to fully seal a pipeline that spilled roughly 1,000 barrels of crude oil into the Yellowstone River.
Details about the company’s response to the Montana pipeline burst emerged late Tuesday as the Department of Transportation ordered the company bury the duct deeper beneath the riverbed, where it is buried 5 to 8 feet underground to deliver 40,000 barrels of oil a day to a refinery in Billings.
The federal agency’s records indicate the pipeline was not fully shut down for 56 minutes after the break occurred Friday near Laurel. That’s longer than the 30 minutes that company officials claimed Tuesday in a briefing with federal officials and Gov. Brian Schweitzer.
– Montana governor questions Exxon on oil’s spread (Reuters, July 3, 2011):
KALISPELL, Montana (Reuters) – Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer on Sunday questioned Exxon Mobil Corp’s contention that its oil pipeline spill into the Yellowstone River was concentrated within a 10-mile area.
Exxon said the spill, which occurred early Saturday near Billings, Montana, released into the river between 750 and 1,000 barrels of oil, which equals up to 42,000 gallons.
The company also has said the spill appeared to be concentrated within a 10-mile stretch of the river between Billings and the nearby town of Laurel.
But Schweitzer said the oil’s spread in the Yellowstone — which is the longest undammed river in the United States — could be more extensive.
“This is a lot of wild country, and they haven’t any idea whether it’s 5 miles, 50 miles or 100 miles, they’re guessing,” Schweitzer, a Democrat, told Reuters in a telephone interview.
– Ruptured Pipeline Spills Oil Into Yellowstone River (New York Times, July 2, 2011 ):
An ExxonMobil pipeline running under the Yellowstone River in south central Montana ruptured late Friday, spilling crude oil into the river and forcing evacuations.
The pipeline burst about 10 miles west of Billings, coating parts of the Yellowstone River that run past Laurel — a town of about 6,500 people downstream from the rupture — with shiny patches of oil. Precisely how much oil leaked into the river was still unclear. But throughout the day Saturday, cleanup crews in Laurel worked to lessen the impact of the spill, laying down absorbent sheets along the banks of the river to mop up some of the escaped oil, and measuring fumes to determine the health threat.
– Exxon has 3 deepwater Gulf of Mexico discoveries (Reuters, June 8, 2011):
HOUSTON (Reuters) – Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N) has made two big new oil discoveries and a natural gas find in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, news that underscores the importance of the prolific basin to U.S. crude output.
Oil and gas exploration in the Gulf was halted by the U.S. government last year after the blowout at BP Plc’s (BP.L) (BP.N) Macondo well, and activity in the Gulf remains at levels far below those seen before the oil spill.
Exxon estimated the new wells could produce about 700 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE).
“Seven hundred million barrels doesn’t happen very often,” John White, an analyst at Houston-based Triple Double Advisors in Houston, said. “That’s a lot of oil.”
Even despotic leaders, it turns out, can make sound investment decisions.
Libyan leader Moamar Gadhafi turned down a chance to invest with Bernie Madoff and accused ponzi schemer Allen Stanford, according to a new diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks. (The U.K.’s Telegraph has the full cable, dated January 28, 2010.)
In the cable, the head of the Libyan sovereign wealth fund, Mohamed Layas, claimed to control $32 billion in liquid assets, most of which was deposited at U.S. banks. Layas, according to the cable, was miffed at Libyan funds that were “mismanaged” by Lehman Brothers, the failed investment bank.
From the cable:
“Layas denied press reports that the LIA had invested USD 100 million with the infamous Allen Stanford. He said that he had personally written a letter to the “Financial Times” disputing the information, explaining that Stanford had approached the LIA in the middle of his crisis, offering a 7-8% share in his investment scheme, but Layas had refused. Layas also mentioned having been previously approached by Bernard Madoff about an investment opportunity, “but we did not accept.” On the contrary, LIA’s recent purchase of the Canadian Verenex oil company — after much controversy over the manner in which it was purchased and share price — was considered by Layas a “good deal.” LIA plans to operate Verenex jointly with the Libyan Investment and Development Corporation (LIDCO).
The Gulf oil disaster is WAR on we the people
This article explains what is really happening in the Gulf of Mexico, who is really responsible for the explosion, and how the devastation serves investment bankers who sway stocks, create markets, and planned this crisis, among a series of catastrophies, to advance geopolitical and financial agendas for their New World Order.
Dr. Leonard G. Horowitz and Sherri Kane
WAR has been declared against We The People. Yet, there is no country or military present to defend us.
Covert infiltrations and corruptions in governments by the “Rothschild League” of bankers and “private equity investors” now poison our bodies, minds, and planet. Yet, appropriate military and/or militia defenses are prohibited.
Crisis-capitalists are massacring us and our environment petrochemically. They have deployed propaganda—mass media deception—to camouflage their real intentions and vast destruction.
The air we breathe, food we eat, and water we drink, has been polluted to deliver profitable diseases and depopulation, simulating a “scorched earth policy” of war.
Generalized fear, depression, fatigue, and apathy is incapacitating our defenses, aiding the adversaries, and predisposing us to diseases and early deaths.
Based on the following irrefutable facts, the so-called “accidental explosion” in the Gulf is a Transocean/Halliburton/British Petroleum/Goldman-Sachs attack—the latest in a series of unspeakable war crimes perpetrated by Anglo-American State of “Rothschild League” bankers.
The Little-Known Rothschild Banking Dynastry
Definition and Function of War
WAR has been defined as “a contest between nations or states, carried on by force, . . . for the extension of commerce, . . . for obtaining and establishing the superiority and dominion of one over the other.”
Tags: Banking, Barack Obama, BP, Bush administration, Corexit, Dick Cheney, Environment, Exxon, George Bush, Global News, Goldman Sachs, Government, Gulf of Mexico, Halliburton, New World Order, Obama administration, Politics, Rockefeller, Rothschild, U.S., UBS
YouTube removed the video. I’ve found a replacement.
YouTube Added: 18.02.2011
Tags: Barack Obama, Boots & Coots, BP, Bush administration, CIA, Climate Change, Contamination, Corexit, Corporations, Cyanide, Dick Cheney, Dictatorship, Economy, Environment, EPA, Exxon, FEMA, Genocide, George Bush, Global News, Global Warming, Government, Gulf of Mexico, Gulf Stream, Halliburton, Health, Hurricane Katrina, Ice Age, Jesse Ventura, Louisiana, Mercury, Military, NEW ORLEANS, New World Order, Obama administration, Politics, Pollution, Science, Stock Market, Tony Hayward, U.S., Wall Street
Aug. 18 (Bloomberg) Claude Luke throttles down his 21- foot aluminum work boat. Off to the left, the snout of an alligator disappears near the mouth of a watery gash in the Louisiana marshland.
The 51-year-old Cajun crab fishermen is touring the epicenter of an unfolding environmental disaster that dwarfs the BP Plc spill and predates it by decades, according to state scientists and environmentalists. If unchecked, the destruction threatens to undermine the world’s seventh largest estuary and one of the most important U.S. energy corridors.
His boat idles near a canal dredged more than two decades ago for a petroleum pipeline. Back then it was about 15 feet (4 1/2 meters) wide. Now it sprawls 100 feet wide, opening this once-protected upland marsh to toxic salt water. Not far away, Luke nods toward a water tower visible across about 2 miles (3 kilometers) of almost open water.
“You used to be able to walk there from here,” says Luke, who moonlights as a warden on the private Harry Bourg Corp. preserve deep in Louisiana’s delta. “Before the oil companies came, this was good, solid marsh.”
More than half the 17,000 acres (6,600 hectares) of marshland purchased about 80 years ago by Bourg, a barely literate muskrat trapper, have been lost to erosion and subsidence, according to engineering surveys. The inheritance of Bourg’s descendants is vanishing under a profusion of these runaway canals. They were dug to lay pipelines or float in equipment for the drilling of 90 oil and gas wells that made Bourg one of the wealthiest men in South Louisiana before he died in 1963.
Long before BP’s blowout menaced the Gulf of Mexico, an oil industry-related coastal crisis of another kind began unfolding all over the Mississippi River coastal delta. Dredging for navigation, oil and gas drilling and pipeline construction has ripped apart the estuary’s fragile system of fresh and saltwater marshes.
Between 1901, when drilling began in Louisiana, and the 1980s, the oil and gas industry laid tens of thousands of miles of pipelines and dredged 9,300 miles of canals in an industrial invasion of a wetland that once covered 3.2 million acres. Since the 1930s, more than a third of it has vanished, an area the size of Delaware. Each year, 15,300 acres more disappear, according to Louisiana’s Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast.
Not all this can be laid to oil and gas drilling; the industry rejects the notion that it is chiefly responsible. Whatever the case, the destruction of marshland reverberates far beyond Louisiana. The state’s waters and wetlands underpin a commercial seafood industry that generates about $2.4 billion a year in wages and sales and provides almost a quarter of the catch in the contiguous U.S., according to the Louisiana Seafood Marketing Board. They serve as wildlife breeding grounds, sheltering and feeding 5 million migratory birds a year, according to state data.
The wetlands also absorb and filter out pollutants and help slow storm surges. Marsh losses in the past 40 years alone could raise the height of a Category 3 storm surge by as much as 10 feet under certain conditions; marsh loss and the presence of a badly eroded navigation channel called the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet may have magnified Hurricane Katrina’s surge in 2005 and helped turn the storm into a $150 billion catastrophe for the New Orleans region, according to computer modeling by Louisiana State University scientists.
Coastal Louisiana accounts for 27 percent of U.S. energy production while an 83,000-mile infrastructure of pipelines and transfer stations transports 40 percent of its energy needs, counting petroleum from imports and offshore wells, according to data from the state’s Department of Natural Resources and the Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association.
The collapse of Louisiana’s coastal marshes is “an international economic and ecological calamity unequaled in history,” jeopardizing more than “$100 billion in energy infrastructure,” said America’s Wetland Foundation, a Louisiana coastal preservation group partly underwritten by the oil industry, in a 2008 report. Much of the pipeline network is buried beneath marshes. Erosion has already exposed high- pressure pipelines to storms and marine traffic, causing oil spills and accidents.
Don’t miss: Al Gore’s Enormous Carbon Footprint
Warmists may be winning the big grants, but they’re not winning the argument
Ever more risibly desperate become the efforts of the believers in global warming to hold the line for their religion, after the battering it was given last winter by all those scandals surrounding the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
One familiar technique they use is to attribute to global warming almost any unusual weather event anywhere in the world. Last week, for instance, it was reported that Russia has recently been experiencing its hottest temperatures and longest drought for 130 years. The head of the Russian branch of WWF, the environmental pressure group, was inevitably quick to cite this as evidence of climate change, claiming that in future “such climate abnormalities will only become more frequent”. He didn’t explain what might have caused the similar hot weather 130 years ago.
Meanwhile, notably little attention has been paid to the disastrous chill which has been sweeping South America thanks to an inrush of air from the Antarctic, killing hundreds in the continent’s coldest winter for years. Continue reading »
The Deepwater Horizon disaster caused headlines around the world, yet the people who live in the Niger delta have had to live with environmental catastrophes for decades
We reached the edge of the oil spill near the Nigerian village of Otuegwe after a long hike through cassava plantations. Ahead of us lay swamp. We waded into the warm tropical water and began swimming, cameras and notebooks held above our heads. We could smell the oil long before we saw it – the stench of garage forecourts and rotting vegetation hanging thickly in the air.
The farther we travelled, the more nauseous it became. Soon we were swimming in pools of light Nigerian crude, the best-quality oil in the world. One of the many hundreds of 40-year-old pipelines that crisscross the Niger delta had corroded and spewed oil for several months.
Forest and farmland were now covered in a sheen of greasy oil. Drinking wells were polluted and people were distraught. No one knew how much oil had leaked. “We lost our nets, huts and fishing pots,” said Chief Promise, village leader of Otuegwe and our guide. “This is where we fished and farmed. We have lost our forest. We told Shell of the spill within days, but they did nothing for six months.”
That was the Niger delta a few years ago, where, according to Nigerian academics, writers and environment groups, oil companies have acted with such impunity and recklessness that much of the region has been devastated by leaks.
In fact, more oil is spilled from the delta’s network of terminals, pipes, pumping stations and oil platforms every year than has been lost in the Gulf of Mexico, the site of a major ecological catastrophe caused by oil that has poured from a leak triggered by the explosion that wrecked BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig last month. Continue reading »
Climate change researchers must believe in the reality of global warming just as a priest must believe in the existence of God.
Last year, ExxonMobil donated $7 million to a grab-bag of public policy institutes, including the Aspen Institute, the Asia Society and Transparency International. It also gave a combined $125,000 to the Heritage Institute and the National Center for Policy Analysis, two conservative think tanks that have offered dissenting views on what until recently was called—without irony—the climate change “consensus.”
To read some of the press accounts of these gifts—amounting to about 0.00027% of Exxon’s 2008 profits of $45 billion—you might think you’d hit upon the scandal of the age. But thanks to what now goes by the name of climategate, it turns out the real scandal lies elsewhere.
Climategate, as readers of these pages know, concerns some of the world’s leading climate scientists working in tandem to block freedom of information requests, blackball dissenting scientists, manipulate the peer-review process, and obscure, destroy or massage inconvenient temperature data—facts that were laid bare by last week’s disclosure of thousands of emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit, or CRU.
Added: 22. Oktober 2009