Top Oil Lobbyist Wants Government Open to Keep Rolling Back Environmental Rules

Repost from DeSmog Blog
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News & Alerts – Clearing the PR Pollution that Clouds Climate Science

Message From the Editor

The Dark Side forces of climate denial and industry-funded misinformation are strong these days in the public conversations about energy and global warming.

Graham Readfearn unpacks an important new analysis by researchers from Yale and Brown University that show a blindspot to this Dark Side.

Climate action advocates have underestimated the strength and sophistication of decades-long fossil fuel-funded misinformation campaigns and need a coordinated set of strategies to fight back, say these leading academics.

Among those strategies are promoting financial transparency, suing misinformers and their funders, and researching the vast networks of think tanks and front groups.

All actions that sound familiar to DeSmog readers, of course. But the stakes are higher than ever as we see certain politicians worldwide actively undermining efforts to combat climate change and block the clean energy future we need.

Justin Mikulka digs into the oil industry lobbyists who are panicked that the government shutdown will derail their sinister plans to undo critical environmental and public health protections.

Find all that and more from our past week’s work below and on DeSmog.com.

Have a story tip or feedback? Get in touch: editor@desmogblog.com.

Thanks,
Brendan DeMelle
Executive Director

P.S. Missed your chance to donate to DeSmog during our year-end drive? No worries! You can always donate securely via the Donate button on our homepage or right here. How easy is that? Thanks for your support!

Climate Advocates Underestimate Power of Fossil Fueled Misinformation Campaigns, Say Top Researchers

By Graham Readfearn (4 min. read)

Climate action advocates have underestimated the strength and sophistication of decades-long fossil fuel-funded misinformation campaigns and need a coordinated set of strategies to fight back, say leading academics.

Among those strategies, say the three researchers from Yale and Brown University, are promoting financial transparency, suing misinformers and their funders, and researching the vast networks of think tanks and front groups. Read more.

Top Oil Lobbyist Wants Government Open to Keep Rolling Back Environmental Rules

By Justin Mikulka (6 min. read)

Although the partial U.S. government shutdown, now marching into its fourth week, isn’t hurting the oil and gas industry, according to Mike Sommers, the head of the American Petroleum Institute (API) says he wants the shutdown to end so that the Trump administration can get back to actively helping the industry by meeting federal deadlines for rolling back environmental regulations.

Nevertheless, there are signs the Trump administration is still at work on that fossil fuel-friendly agenda in some places, such as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), despite the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. Read more.

Virginia Air Board Member Who Approved a Controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline Permit Has Links to a Dominion Gas Partner

By Itai Vardi (6 min. read)

A member of a Virginia state permitting board who last week approved a highly controversial certification for Dominion’s planned Atlantic Coast pipeline has business ties to a company currently collaborating with Dominion on a related gas project, DeSmog has found.

William (Trip) Ferguson joined three other Air Pollution Control Board members to unanimously approve a permit for Dominion’s Buckingham compressor station. The planned station, which will propel the natural gas as it moves through the 600-mile interstate pipeline, will be built in Union Hill, a largely African-American community settled by free blacks and emancipated slaves after the Civil War. Read more.

Former Coal Lobbyist Andrew Wheeler Faces Senate Confirmation as EPA Administrator

By Sharon Kelly (9 min. read)

Acting Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chief — and now Trump cabinet nominee — Andrew Wheeler heads into Senate confirmation hearings at 10 a.m. EST Wednesday, as the longest government shutdown in U.S. history has left the EPA mostly shuttered.

Wheeler, a former coal, petrochemical, and LNG (liquefied natural gas) lobbyist, has run America’s top environmental agency since ex-EPA chief Scott Pruitt resigned this summer under at least a dozen internal investigations. Read more.

Warning: A ‘Shrinking Window’ of Usable Groundwater — and the Oil and Gas Industry Isn’t Helping

By Tara Lohan, the Revelator. (7 min. read)

New analysis reveals that we have much less water in our aquifers than we previously thought — and the oil and gas industry could put that at even greater risk.

We’re living beyond our means when it comes to groundwater. That’s probably not news to everyone, but new research suggests that, deep underground in a number of key aquifers in some parts of the United States, we may have much less water than previously thought. Read more.

From the Climate Disinformation Database: American Petroleum Institute

If we had to pick one group responsible for the most egregious misinformation campaigns to sow doubt and delay climate action, it’d have to be the API. They are so blatantly anti-future, only they could want the shutdown to end so Trump can keep destroying environmental protections and expanding dangerous drilling.

Read the full profile and browse other individuals and organizations in our research database.

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