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Posts under ‘Climate Change’

VW and Shell try to block EU push for electric cars

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Arthur NeslenThursday 28 April 2016 

VW and Shell have united to try to block Europe’s push for electric cars and more efficient cars, saying biofuels should be at heart of efforts to green the industry instead.

The EU is planning two new fuel efficiency targets for 2025 and 2030 to help meet promises made at the Paris climate summit last December.

But executives from the two industrial giants launched a study on Wednesday night proposing greater use of biofuels, CO2 car labelling, and the EU’s emissions trading system (ETS) instead.

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Shell chairman joins new climate group involving NGOs

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Pilita Clark, Environment Correspondent: April 28, 2016

The chairman of Royal Dutch Shell, Charles Holliday, has joined executives from BHP Billiton and other big energy companies on a new body exploring whether some of the fossil fuels that businesses such as theirs produce should stay in the ground.

The chief executive of Germany’s RWE, Peter Terium, has also joined the Energy Transitions Commission, which was set up by certain energy companies, investors and non-governmental organisations…

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Dalhousie Dean of Science feared oil company’s revenge over divestment

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By Charles Mandel in News, Energy | April 27th 2016

For years, Royal Dutch Shell has tried to portray itself as one of the good guys in the battle against climate change. It recently completed improvements to an oil upgrader in Fort Saskatchewan, near Edmonton, to capture up to a third of its greenhouse gas emissions – equivalent to removing the annual pollution of about 250,000 cars.

On its website, the company posts stories about how to achieve a low-carbon-future and sponsors a fuel efficient vehicle in the eco-marathon.

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Carbon capture: Collaboration needed says Shell head

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By John McManus: BBC News: 14 April 2016

The head of energy giant Shell’s UK and Ireland operations has said the UK government should have continued to support a scheme to develop carbon capture technology.

The technology – to store carbon emissions from fossil fuels underground – was being developed at Peterhead power station with the help of Shell.

Chancellor George Osborne cancelled the competition in his Autumn Statement.

Shell’s Paul Goodfellow said the technology needed more development.

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Shell CEO van Beurden sees a global carbon price as inevitable

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ABC.Net.Au: by Babs McHugh: 13 April 2016

The head of one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies says market forces will eventually result in a global price on carbon.

Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden made the call at the 18th International LNG Conference underway in Perth.

Mr van Beurden also championed the need for greater innovation in accessing new oil and gas reservoirs at acceptable costs, while acknowledging the tough position producers faced.

“Market conditions are pretty challenging,” he said.

“But at the same time new markets are opening up, like Thailand, Pakistan and even Poland.

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Lower oil without higher growth

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Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 11.17.16By Ed Crooks: April 8, 2016

The failure of falling oil prices to give much of a boost to global growth has been one of the big issues in the world economy this year. The FT’s Chris Giles gave a magisterial overview of why oil has been the shot in the arm that missed its target, although he raised the more cheerful possibility that the stimulus may simply be deferred until next year.

The correlation between oil prices and share prices has remained in full effect, even though an unexpected drop in US crude inventories boosted oil for a while. Brent crude began Friday at about $40 per barrel, up 48 per cent from its low point in January, but still down 65 per cent from its peak in June 2014.

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Exxon and Shell Double Down to Defeat Climate Change Legislation

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Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 15.55.29Nika Knight, Common Dreams: April 8, 2016

The dark channels through which corporations influence legislation are notoriously hard to trace, but a new detailed report estimates that the world’s largest fossil fuel companies are spending upwards of $500 million per year to obstruct climate laws.

Published Thursday by the UK-based non-profit InfluenceMap, the report looked at two fossil fuel giants (ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell) and three trade lobbying groups, discovering that all together the five companies spend $114 million dollars a year to defeat climate change legislation.

More significantly, InfluenceMap says, “Extrapolated over the entire fossil fuel and other industrial sectors beyond, it is not hard to consider that this obstructive climate policy lobbying spending may be in the order of $500m annually.”

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Sideways moves

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By Ed Crooks: April 1, 2016

Oil prices went sideways all week, with Brent crude edging up above $40 on Thursday.  Hedge funds have made record bets on rising crude prices, but everyone is still watching prospects for the scheduled meeting of Opec and non-Opec oil producers in Doha, Qatar on April 17. Qatar’s oil minister said 12 countries had so far agreed to attend, including most Opec members and Russia. Reuters provided a useful factbox on the countries that could be present at the meeting.  Ecuador is one of the Opec members trying to persuade non-member countries to join in a commitment to freeze production.

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Scientists Warn of Perilous Climate Shift Within Decades, Not Centuries

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By JUSTIN GILLISA version of this article appears in print on March 23, 2016, on page A11 of the New York edition

The nations of the world agreed years ago to try to limit global warming to a level they hoped would prove somewhat tolerable. But leading climate scientists warned on Tuesday that permitting a warming of that magnitude would actually be quite dangerous.

The likely consequences would include killer storms stronger than any in modern times, the disintegration of large parts of the polar ice sheets and a rise of the sea sufficient to begin drowning the world’s coastal cities before the end of this century, the scientists declared.

“We’re in danger of handing young people a situation that’s out of their control,” said James E. Hansen, the retired NASA climate scientist who led the new research. The findings were released Tuesday morning by a European science journal, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

A draft version of the paper was released last year, and it provoked a roiling debate among climate scientists. The main conclusions have not changed, and that debate seems likely to be replayed in the coming weeks.

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Shell hospitality tour for EU diplomats branded ‘PR exercise’ by campaigners

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Arthur NeslenFriday 18 March 2016 

An email seen by the Guardian invites energy attaches from the EU’s 28 countries to visit the Shell technology Centre, take an ‘oil majors and oil paintings’ tour of the Van Gogh Museum, and have lunch with Shell’s president in the Netherlands.

Brook Riley, a spokesman for Friends of the Earth Europe said: “It is disgraceful to see Shell splurging profits from dirty, dangerous gas extraction on a blatant PR exercise, with the full support of the Dutch government. It is no wonder the EU’s energy plans are assuming zero improvements in efficiency or renewables. They are acting as though climate change does not exist.”

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Shell worries about climate change, but decides to continue making it worse

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Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 08.47.47By Katie Herzog on 14 Mar 2016

Shell Oil released its 2015 annual review last week, and the most surprising thing in it may be how concerned the company is with climate change. It’s hardly what you’d expect from Big Oil, and yet the words “climate change” occur 15 times in the 228 page report. While this may seem minor, it’s a hell of a lot more than climate change is discussed by most other oil monsters (Looking at you, Exxon). Shell, unlike many oil giants, actively acknowledges and even embraces climate action — at least, on paper. “It was encouraging to see governments reach a global climate agreement in Paris in December,” the report reads. “The agreement should now encourage countries to develop policies that balance environmental concerns with enabling a decent quality of life for more people.”

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An oilman’s $7 billion refresher course in the economics of drilling and climate change

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To many analysts, it looked like Odum was pushed into leaving.

Steven Mufson March 11, 2016

Marvin Odum, president of Shell Oil, was attending a meeting of the parent company’s executive committee in Singapore when word trickled in that an exploration well drilled in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea — the crowning step in a multi-year $7 billion quest — was a dry hole.

Maybe not bone dry. In a recent interview, Odum wouldn’t say. But in the oil business glossary, a dry hole is one that can’t pay off commercially, and Shell’s hole definitely qualified. The parent company, Royal Dutch Shell, abruptly dropped any further drilling — a setback for the industry, though a relief for environmentalists.

For years, they had fought a vigorous, litigious and politically intense battle over the Chukchi. Meanwhile Shell, lured by potentially rich rewards, had overcome a couple of embarrassing rig mishaps at sea and patiently navigated the courts and the Obama administration’s permitting process. Now, geology had rendered its verdict.

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Did Shell’s Failure to Disclose Climate Risks Break the Law?

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Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 08.47.47Congressmen who have asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate Exxon now request a similar probe of Shell.

BY DAVID HASEMYER, INSIDECLIMATE NEWSMAR 7, 2016

Three members of Congress have asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate whether Shell Oil Co. violated securities laws by failing to adequately disclose material business risks from climate change.

Members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, led by California Democrat Ted Lieu, said in a letter to the SEC that Shell understood the consequences of climate change and made business decisions based on that knowledge. 

“Yet, Shell funded and publicly engaged in a campaign to deceive the American people about the known risks of fossil fuels in causing climate change,” the lawmakers said in their letter to SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White.

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Members of Congress call for investigation of Shell over climate change

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Ivan Penn: 18 FEB 2016

A Southern California congressman and two other representatives are calling for an investigation of Shell Oil over whether it deceived the public on climate change at the same time it was preparing its business operations for rising sea levels. 

In a Feb. 17 letter to U.S. Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch, the three members of Congress said growing evidence suggests there may have been “a conspiracy between Shell, Exxon Mobil and potentially other companies in the fossil fuel industry.”

U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) sent the letter along with Rep. Peter Welch of Vermont and Rep. Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania, both Democrats.

Their letter cites an investigation published by the Los Angeles Times that reported that in 1989 Shell Oil announced it was redesigning a long-term, $3-billion natural gas platform in the North Sea to deal with rising sea levels from global warming. Despite this and other incidents, the congressmen noted, “Shell apparently decided to fund climate deniers.”

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The world’s most hated company: can NGOs help turn Shell’s reputation around?

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While Shell’s plummeting profits are partially due to the falling price of oil, the years of negative publicity surrounding the company have likely also had an effect…

Alison MoodieSaturday 6 February 2016 14.00 GMT

In mid-2015, Shell realized its project in the Chukchi Sea, off the coast of Alaska, was in trouble. After nearly a decade of expensive drilling, it still hadn’t yielded results and increasingly strict regulations were making it harder to operate. Plus, there was the small issue of public opinion, which, inspired by an aggressive campaign by Greenpeace, was turning against the company. 

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Climate Deal’s First Big Hurdle: The Draw of Cheap Oil

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By CLIFFORD KRAUSS and DIANE CARDWELLA version of this article appears in print on January 26, 2016, on page A1 of the New York edition

Barely a month after world leaders signed a sweeping agreement to reduce carbon emissions, the global commitment to renewable energy sources faces its first big test as the price of oil collapses.

Buoyed by low gas prices, Americans are largely eschewing electric cars in favor of lower-mileage trucks and sport utility vehicles. Yet the Obama administration has shown no signs of backing off its requirement that automakers nearly double the fuel economy of their vehicles by 2025.

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Shell the company most criticised by campaigners

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Sunday 17 JAN 2016

German carmaker Volkswagen was one of the “most disliked” companies for pressure groups last year following its emissions scandal, a survey has found.

Shell was the most criticised by campaigners, followed by Monsanto, which makes genetically modified food.

Half of the top-10 most criticised companies on Sigwatch’s list were energy firms, because of “the elephant in the room – climate change,” Mr Blood said.

Top was Shell, but TransCanada, ExxonMobil, EDF and BP also featured.

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Shell lease requests offshore Alaska face scrutiny

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Shell is challenging a decision by the federal government to deny its request to suspend leases in the Arctic waters off the coast of Alaska that would expire in 2017 and 2020. Federal leases expire at the end of their terms unless operators are engaged in drilling or related activity.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska, Jan. 14 (UPI) — A group of environmental activists filed a challenge to leases held by Royal Dutch Shell in Alaskan waters, citing the need to act on behalf of the climate.

Earthjustice, working on behalf of eight conservation groups, including the Sierra Club and Greenpeace, filed to intervene in decisions before the Department of Interior regarding Shell’s leases in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas.

“The Arctic Ocean is ground zero for climate change, and drilling in such a sensitive region threatens the whales, seals and countless other wildlife that call it home,” Earthjustice attorney Erik Grafe said in a statement.

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Big Oil braced for global warming while it fought regulations

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Screen Shot 2015-10-26 at 21.23.40As many of the world’s major oil companies — including Exxon, Mobil and Shell — joined a multimillion-dollar industry effort to stave off new regulations to address climate change, they were quietly safeguarding billion-dollar infrastructure projects from rising sea levels, warming temperatures and increasing storm severity.

By AMY LIEBERMAN AND SUSANNE RUST: DEC. 31, 2015

A few weeks before seminal climate change talks in Kyoto back in 1997, Mobil Oil took out a bluntly worded advertisement in the New York Times and Washington Post.

“Let’s face it: The science of climate change is too uncertain to mandate a plan of action that could plunge economies into turmoil,” the ad said. “Scientists cannot predict with certainty if temperatures will increase, by how much and where changes will occur.”

One year earlier, though, engineers at Mobil Oil were concerned enough about climate change to design and build a collection of exploration and production facilities along the Nova Scotia coast that made structural allowances for rising temperatures and sea levels.

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Report: Political pressure prompted hasty environmental review of Shell’s Arctic play

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Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 08.55.47Yereth RosenBen AndersonDecember 7, 2015

Regulators hoping to avoid criticism and potential congressional backlash rushed an environmental review of offshore Arctic oil development to ensure that Royal Dutch Shell would be able to drill this year, said a report issued Monday by a federal watchdog agency.

The investigation, conducted by the U.S. Department of Interior’s Office of the Inspector General, was launched in response to complaints from Bureau of Ocean Energy Management employees who worked on a rewrite of the supplemental environmental impact statement for oil leasing in the remote Chukchi Sea off Alaska’s northwest coast.

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More, cleaner and affordable energy for the Middle East

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By Ben van Beurden: 6 Dec 2015

One of today’s biggest challenges is to boost economic development, while protecting the environment at the same time. Energy is right at the heart of both matters. The world needs more energy, cleaner energy and affordable energy. The Middle East is no exception to this reality.

Today, as I attend the International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) in Qatar, it is ever clearer to me that technology is pivotal to a sustainable energy future. This future cannot be created by single governments or stand-alone energy companies. Partnerships are needed to make it happen.

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Despite Climate Concerns, OPEC Plans to Keep Pumping Oil While It Can

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By STANLEY REED and SARA HAMDANA version of this article appears in print on December 5, 2015, on page B1 of the New York edition

VIENNA — Even as United Nations climate-conference delegates met near Paris on Friday seeking ways to reduce the globe’s dependence on high-carbon fuels like oil, some of the world’s biggest petroleum producers vowed to keep pumping flat out.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said on Friday that it would keep producing oil at current levels, which are estimated to exceed 31 million barrels a day.

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BP plc, Royal Dutch Shell and Others up in Arms against Coal

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By Micheal Kaufman on Dec 2, 2015

Environmentalists are winning the race against energy companies, as the world tries to adopt environmental-friendlier ways of energy generation. World leaders from over 19 countries and prominent personalities such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are at the UN Climate Summit in Paris, which has been ongoing from November 30 and will continue until December 11.

Energy Companies Coming in Front

The growing concern over global warming and rising temperatures has lined up global energy companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, BP plc. (ADR) (NYSE:BP) and Total SA (ADR) (NYSE:TOT). These companies have recently teamed up to support climate change and asked authorities to consider a carbon tax.

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Green Agenda Risks $2 Trillion Worth Of Energy Projects

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Mexico’s Petroleos Mexicanos and Royal Dutch Shell stand to lose roughly $77 billion in projects

By Steve Birr: Daily Caller News Foundation

If world leaders agree on a 2 degree Celsius warming limit at the Paris climate summit, $2 trillion in new coal and petroleum projects risk being killed, according to a new report.

The London based Carbon Tracker Initiative (CTI) environmental think tank says that efforts by world governments will negatively impact the energy industry and warns investors that coal, oil and gas will be hit hardest. Mexico’s Petroleos Mexicanos and Royal Dutch Shell stand to lose roughly $77 billion in projects, while ExxonMobil would lose about $73 billion, according to Reuters.

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Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil and Glencore: Energy companies risk wasting trillions on uneconomic projects

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By Jessica Morris: 25 November 2015

Energy companies risk wasting $2.2 trillion (£1.46 trillion) on uneconomic projects over the next 10 years, according to a new report.

Think tank the Carbon Tracker Initiative’s (CTI) report how fossil fuel firms risk destroying investor returns says energy companies’ focus on fossil fuels at the expense of emerging clean technologies could put them out of kilter with environmental regulation, which will eventually dampen demand.

It comes ahead of next week’s Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21) which is expected to result in, or at least pave the way for, more climate change legislation.

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Science Museum ends sponsorship deal with Shell

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Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 16.17.45Adam VaughanThursday 12 November 2015

Critics have previously attacked the choice of a fossil fuel company as a funder for the museum’s Atmosphere gallery on climate science and said emails show Shell sought to influence the programme. However, current and former directors of the museum have rejected the charges, saying no curatorial changes had been made on Shell’s behalf.

FULL ARTICLE

Oil giants ‘face cascade of claims’

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Robin Pagnamenta Energy Editor: November 7, 2015

An investigation by New York’s attorney-general into ExxonMobil’s record on climate science could trigger a “cascade” of similar claims against other oil companies, including Britain’s BP and Royal Dutch Shell, legal experts have warned.

Prosecutors might seek to investigate other companies that helped to fund organisations that queried climate science, such as the Global Climate Coalition, of which BP and Shell were members during the 1990s, they said.

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Shell says $60-$80 carbon price needed to justify carbon storage

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Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 08.03.29Nov 6 2015, 16:59 ET | By: Carl Surran, SA News Editor

Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) unveils a $1.3B carbon capture storage project for Alberta, but says future efforts to curb greenhouse gases will continue to need financial support from governments.

Shell CEO Ben van Beurden says carbon capture and storage projects need a $60-$80 price for carbon dioxide to justify building them, more than 5x the current price of C$15/ton (US$11.27) in Alberta.

Shell’s Quest facility will extract 1M tons of the gas from its Scotford refinery each year, and the carbon dioxide will be injected into an underground saline formation ~50 miles from the plant – it is the first in North America to store CO2 in a deep saline formation.

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Exxon Inquiry Both Mirrors and Contrasts With Tobacco Industry Case

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By JOHN SCHWARTZNOV. 6, 2015

The New York attorney general’s decision to investigate Exxon Mobil over whether the company lied to the public and investors about the risks of climate change has raised questions about possible similarities to the Justice Department’s successful suit against the tobacco industry in 1997.

The new case has reprised the famous question from Watergate — What did they know, and when did they know it? — which also was an important element of that tobacco lawsuit.

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Citing Climate Change, Obama Rejects Construction of Keystone XL Oil Pipeline

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President Obama is the first world leader to reject a project because of its effect on the climate,” said Bill McKibben, founder of the activist group 350.org, which led the campaign against the pipeline. “That gives him new stature as an environmental leader, and it eloquently confirms the five years and millions of hours of work that people of every kind put into this fight.”

By CORAL DAVENPORT: NOV. 6, 2015

WASHINGTON — President Obama announced on Friday that he had rejected the request from a Canadian company to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline, ending a seven-year review that had become a symbol of the debate over his climate policies.

Mr. Obama’s denial of the proposed 1,179-mile pipeline, which would have carried 800,000 barrels a day of carbon-heavy petroleum from the Canadian oil sands to the Gulf Coast, comes as he seeks to build an ambitious legacy on climate change.

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Keystone rejection tied to climate inaction frustration-Shell CEO

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Markets | Fri Nov 6, 2015 3:38pm EST

By Mike De Souza

Nov 6 (Reuters) – The U.S. rejection of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline was driven in part by protesters who are increasingly frustrated with inaction on climate change, Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chief Executive Ben van Beurden said on Friday.

Speaking at the launch of Shell’s new carbon capture and storage project in Alberta, the first Canadian project of its kind in the oil sands industry, van Beurden said anti-fossil-fuel movements are growing because of anxiety and resentment about a failure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Exxon Mobil Investigated for Possible Climate Change Lies by New York Attorney General

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Mr. Schneiderman’s decision to scrutinize the fossil fuel companies may well open a new legal front in the climate change battle. The Exxon inquiry might expand further to encompass other oil companies…

By JUSTIN GILLIS and CLIFFORD KRAUSSNOV. 5, 2015

The New York attorney general has begun an investigation of Exxon Mobil to determine whether the company lied to the public about the risks of climate change or to investors about how such risks might hurt the oil business.

According to people with knowledge of the investigation, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued a subpoena Wednesday evening to Exxon Mobil, demanding extensive financial records, emails and other documents.

The investigation focuses on whether statements the company made to investors about climate risks as recently as this year were consistent with the company’s own long-running scientific research.

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Shell Canada carbon capture likely last to get Alberta subsidies

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Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 07.55.40CALGARY, ALBERTA | BY MIKE DE SOUZACommodities | Thu Nov 5, 2015 9:01pm GMT

Royal Dutch Shell’s launch on Friday of Canada’s first oil sands project to capture and bury carbon emissions – assisted by generous public subsidies – will likely be the last to get such funding, the Alberta government said this week.

The left-leaning New Democratic government of the energy-rich Western Canadian province, home to the country’s controversial oil sands, said it no longer plans to fund future efforts using the technology.

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Shell describes Arctic drilling project as a good prospect that just didn’t work out

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Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 08.42.45Associated Press: Nov. 3, 2015

LONDON (AP) — Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden says the company will reflect on its decision to consider drilling off the coast of Alaska but voiced his regret that the prospect couldn’t be made to work out.

Van Beurden told reporters Tuesday as Shell updated its strategy that it would examine the decision to pursue offshore drilling in Arctic waters. Shell reported a third-quarter loss of $7.4 billion last week as it re-organized and cancelled projects, including drilling in Alaska amid sharp drops in the price of oil.

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Shell leaves door open for future exploration in Alaska’s Arctic

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Jennifer A. Dlouhy | Houston Chronicle: November 2, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 08.42.45WASHINGTON — Shell is walking away from oil exploration in Arctic waters north of Alaska, but it isn’t ready to close the door completely.

Disappointing results from a critical test well at the company’s Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea, combined with the high costs of developing the region and an “unpredictable regulatory environment,” have prompted Royal Dutch Shell to cease Alaska offshore exploration “for the foreseeable future,” CEO Ben van Beurden told reporters Thursday.

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Even as it walks away from Arctic drilling, Shell keeps door open for future work

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31Posted on October 29, 2015 | By Jennifer A. Dlouhy

WASHINGTON — Shell is walking away from oil exploration in Arctic waters north of Alaska, but it isn’t ready to close the door completely.

Disappointing results from a critical test well at the company’s Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea, combined with the high costs of developing the region and an “unpredictable regulatory environment” have prompted Royal Dutch Shell “to cease further exploration activity offshore Alaska for the foreseeable future,” CEO Ben van Beurden told reporters Thursday.

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US Follows Royal Dutch Shell plc Backs Away From Arctic Drilling

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By: Micheal KaufmanOct 19, 2015

The US Interior Department announced on Friday that it will cancel the auction of 2016 and 2017 natural gas and offshore oil leases in the Arctic Ocean. The auction was scheduled under the Department’s current five-year Chukchi Sea leasing program for 2012–2017. The division cited low crude oil prices and lack of interest from oil companies as the main reason behind its decision.

This news comes a few weeks after Royal Dutch Shell plc (ADR) (NYSE:RDS.A) withdrew its Arctic drilling plan. The oil giant had spent $7 billion for the Arctic campaign. It said last month that it has dropped its exploration and production (E&P) activities in the Burger prospect of the Chukchi Sea, as it found few traces of oil and natural gas in the region. The company was not satisfied with the drilling results; it had initially expected huge amount of oil traces in the Ocean. Shell has dropped all future plans of Arctic drilling for the foreseeable future.

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U.S. Cancels Remaining Arctic Oil Lease Sales Under Obama

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Brian Wingfield and Joe Carroll: BLOOMBERG.COM: 17 October 2015

The U.S. Interior Department effectively halted drilling off Alaska’s coast for the remainder of President Barack Obama’s term by canceling two sales of Arctic oil and gas leases.

The decision comes less than a month after Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it would indefinitely cease exploration in the region as the company didn’t find sufficient quantities of oil or gas in a Chukchi Sea drilling zone.

“In light of Shell’s announcement, the amount of acreage already under lease and current market conditions, it does not make sense to prepare for lease sales in the Arctic in the next year and a half,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a statement on Friday.

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US curbs Arctic offshore oil and gas drilling

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The US government has announced new curbs on oil and gas exploration in Arctic waters off Alaska’s northern coast.

It comes after oil giant Royal Dutch Shell last month stopped its Arctic activity citing “disappointing” tests.

The US interior department said it was cancelling two potential Arctic offshore lease sales and would not extend current leases.

The announcement has been welcomed by environmentalists.

Miyoko Sakashita, of the Center for Biological Diversity, said the decision was “great for the Arctic and its polar bears”.

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U.S. Blocks Alaskan Arctic Drilling for 2 Years

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31By CLIFFORD KRAUSSOCT. 16, 2015

HOUSTON — The Obama administration shut the door Friday on drilling in Alaska’s Arctic Ocean over the next two years, canceling auctions for drilling rights in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas.

The decision by the Interior Department was not surprising because it came less than a month after Shell Oil canceled the most advanced exploration project in the region because of disappointing results from a test well and high costs at a time when oil prices are extremely low.

Still, the announcement is symbolically important as the administration steps back from its cautious support of drilling in the Arctic.

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Big Oil’s Murky Climate

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Big Oil truly is facing a conundrum of biblical proportions

Liam Denning: Bloomberg.com: October 16, 2015

Big Oil is getting religion — sort of.

Ten major oil companies including Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Saudi Aramco declared on Friday that they totally get the climate change thing and would support measures aimed at preventing it. 

Yet, without committing to the most obvious measure to encourage fundamental change — namely, widespread carbon pricing — you could say the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative has taken a leaf from St. Augustine: yearning to be pure, just not quite yet.

The announcement comes ahead of December’s UN climate conference in Paris and not long after a more modern cleric, Pope Francis, took his call for greater efforts to curb carbon emissions directly to Congress.

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BP plc, Royal Dutch Shell And Others Declare Joint Action On Climate Change

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Screen Shot 2015-10-16 at 22.05.20By: Micheal Kaufman: Oct 16, 2015 

Global warming over the past few years has become a major issue. Companies around the world keep on pumping and burning record levels of conventional fossil fuels. Burning of fossil fuels leads to carbon emissions, which are highly detrimental for the environment. Activists have now have taken a stern hand regarding pollution and are urging companies to adopt safer cleaner fuels. President Barack Obama recently also stressed upon the importance of using alternatives, such as natural gas, which are safer for the environment.

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The risks of wildcatting in the Arctic

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31A former Shell Oil executive and catastrophic risk expert on the nightmare scenario when oil and ice mix.

by Lauren Ellis @lauren_jellis: October 15, 2015

Two drill vessels officially left Arctic waters after Royal Dutch Shell announced that the company would cease exploration in the Chuckchi and Beaufort seas. After a $7 billion investment and a standoff with kayaktivists, Shell cited a “disappointing exploration outcome,” meaning there’s oil in the Arctic, but not enough where they drilled to justify the cost. It’s a classic industry gamble called wildcatting: oil companies invest in an unexplored area hoping to strike black gold in the hidden reservoirs thousands of feet below the surface.

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Shell’s drilling vessels leave Arctic waters after company ends oil exploration off Alaska

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31DAN JOLING: Associated Press: Oct. 13, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Two drill vessels employed by Royal Dutch Shell PLC off Alaska’s northwest coast have safely departed Arctic waters for the Pacific Northwest.

The 572-foot Noble Discoverer, owned by Noble Drilling U.S. LLC, reached Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Islands on Sunday afternoon. After a Coast Guard inspection, the vessel departed Monday for the Port of Everett in Washington state, Shell spokesman Curtis Smith said.

The Polar Pioneer, owned by Transocean Ltd., reached Dutch Harbor on Monday afternoon. Two tug boats accompanying the semi-submersible drilling vessel, the Ocean Wind and Ocean Wave vessel, planned to refuel and change crews. The Polar Pioneer will be towed to Port Angeles, Washington.

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Shell Is Reeling After Pulling Out of the Arctic

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Screen Shot 2015-10-04 at 09.03.21BY ANTONIA JUHASZ / OCTOBER 13, 2015

Earlier this month, Shell’s tumultuous Arctic drilling campaign came to an abrupt and costly end. In a written statement, the company announced the cessation of its offshore Alaska activities “for the foreseeable future”—at a loss of billions of dollars. This both stunned and thrilled critics, many of whom worried that the seven-year effort to stop Shell was dead in July, when the Obama administration approved the company’s permits to drill.

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Shell’s Arctic drill rigs make final Alaska stop

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31Laurel AndrewsOctober 12, 2015

Two weeks after announcing the end of its Arctic offshore oil exploration program, Royal Dutch Shell’s Noble Discoverer drillship left Dutch Harbor Monday afternoon, the last planned stop in Alaska as it heads to the Pacific Northwest.

The company’s second drilling rig that had arrived in Alaska this summer, the Transocean Polar Pioneer, is close behind.

The Noble Discoverer arrived in Dutch Harbor Sunday, said Shell Alaska spokesperson Megan Baldino. During the stop, both rigs had a crew change and resupply of fuel and groceries.

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Alaska mulls extra oil drilling to cope with climate change

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By Matt McGrath: Environment correspondent, BBC News, Alaska: 12 Oct 2015

Expanding the search for oil is necessary to pay for the damage caused by climate change, the Governor of Alaska has told the BBC.

The state is suffering significant climate impacts from rising seas forcing the relocation of remote villages.

Governor Bill Walker says that coping with these changes is hugely expensive.

He wants to “urgently” drill in the protected lands of the Arctic National Wilderness Refuge to fund them.

Alaska has been severely hit by the dramatic drop in the price of oil over the past two years.

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Environmentalists ramp up resistance to big oil

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31Environmental groups have become emboldened by their perceived triumph over Shell in the Arctic, in which they refined new tactics. What impact might this decision have on the future green movement in the United States?

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Environmental organizations celebrated when Royal Dutch Shell announced it was halting oil and gas explorations in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea “for the foreseeable future.” Activists heralded the move as an unprecedented victory for their campaign to stop drilling: They managed to shut down a fossil fuels project, they claimed.

However, the oil giant is adamant that environmental groups played no role in its decision to leave the Arctic. A spokesperson confirmed to DW that the company withdrew for economic and legislative reasons, stating that the Burger J well didn’t contain enough oil to develop a viable commercial project.

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UNESCO sees bright side to Shell’s Arctic pullout

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31Alaska Dispatch News: October 8, 2015

Shell’s decision to end its program to drill for oil in Arctic waters off Alaska is being cheered by one international organization.

Shell’s drilling in the Chukchi Sea threatened Russia’s Wrangel Island Reserve, an ecologically rich site that is the only designated World Heritage site in the Arctic, said the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, also known as UNESCO.

“This Arctic jewel, and the wealth of wildlife it supports, were threatened by Shell’s Chukchi Sea operations,” UNESCO said in a statement released Wednesday.

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Shell’s withdrawal from Arctic energizes activists

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Screen Shot 2015-10-05 at 14.03.31Activists plan broader green campaign

By Jennifer A. Dlouhy, Hearst Washington Bureau: Oct  8, 2015

WASHINGTON — Environmentalists who battled Arctic oil drilling by paddling kayaks, dangling from bridges and climbing onto rigs at sea have claimed a high-profile success against Shell and aim to funnel the resulting enthusiasm into other fights against fossil fuels.

Shell is abandoning its long crusade to find crude in the waters north of Alaska after disappointing results at a critical test well in the Chukchi Sea. While the company cited financial reasons for the pullout, the move nonetheless represents a tangible victory for environmental activists.

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