Months after global prices collapsed, oil and gas behemoth Exxon Mobil is facing unprecedented losses. While publicly struggling to adjust to new realities, behind the scenes Exxon is coopting messaging around climate change to steer lucrative tax subsidies towards expanding dubious carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) projects that will only help them produce more oil and gas. Worse, as Covid-ravaged Americans cued their cars into miles long food lines, Trump ensured relief funds went not to them, but to Exxon instead. In the same way that Big Oil didn’t become ubiquitous gently, they will not go gently into their good nights either. L. Michael Buchsbaum reviews how one of the largest global carbon polluters is using Covid-19 and climate change to enrich itself.
To achieve greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050, in early July the European Commission (EC) published their new Hydrogen strategy for a climate-neutral Europe. Though the promise of a future green hydrogen-based system is the main selling point, in reality the near-term hydrogen economy will be dependent on a nightmarish mix of fossil gas-derived “grey” hydrogen, later supplemented by “blue” hydrogen, itself dependent upon the proving out of non-functional carbon capture and sequestration technologies (CCS). Behind the scenes, the oil and gas industry and their allies are pushing for a “technology-neutral” hydrogen future, thus ensuring them a handsome stream of profits. Despite the green label, there is every reason to suspect that the coming hydrogen transition will be exponentially dirtier than expected. L. Michael Buchsbaum reminds us to be skeptical in Part II of a series on the promises and pitfalls of green hydrogen.
Heralded as the missing puzzle piece within a fully decarbonized economy, the European Commission has determined clean hydrogen is the 21st Century solution to arresting climate change. Published in July, their new Hydrogen Strategy is also a jobs plan and pathway towards unifying the EU around a holistic energy and economic policy. But despite being framed as a green energy program, there’s a growing realization that the transition will be dirtier than expected. For the short term at least, the plan rests heavily on using fossil gas as “a bridge fuel” once again. L. Michael Buchsbaum reports in the first of a series on the evolving hydrogen revolution.
There will be no new coal plants built in the US, and existing ones are coming under pressure from renewables. Energy utilities are switching to wind power instead: Xcel Energy has promised to use 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050. L. Michael Buchsbaum goes in-depth.
EU-funded efforts to boost the uptake of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies have failed largely because of a lack of coordination and long-term strategies that scared away investors, according to a report by the European Court of Auditors. Sam Morgan takes a closer look.
Norway is well known as a leader in producing energy from renewable sources, however its export strategies are based on natural gas. Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) is Norway’s latest idea to “green up” the European gas market despite the threat of long-term consequences. L Michael Buchsbaum takes a look.
Proponents of 100% renewable energy face harsh criticism, even well-respected scientists like Mark Jacobson. He has been arguing for countries to switch to an all-renewables grid for years, both through academic papers and activism. Today, he rebuts the argument that the US should continue using nuclear power and fossil fuels.
Germany’s G20 presidency dramatically weakened a climate action plan, gutting it of ambitious language and defining gas, and potentially even some coal power, as “clean technologies”, in an attempt to appeal to US president Donald Trump. Arthur Nelsen of Climate Home Europe takes a look.
In the first installment of this series we explored the basic facts about electricity production from biomass, and some pervasive myths about it. In the second, we delved into the complicated issues involved in accounting for the climate implications of biopower. In this installment, Ben Paulos explores the future of biopower.
The short answer is no, which is worrying in light of the numerous reports to the contrary. Still, what happened should not be underestimated either: the German states—including ones with giant carmakers—have asked the EU for help in phasing out cars running on fossil fuels… well, sort of. What’s needed is options, as Craig Morris explains.