NY attorney general is investigating Exxon Mobil over its alleged climate change deceptions

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is investigating Exxon Mobil’s deception on climate change.

Justin Gillis and Clifford Krauss from The New York Times report:

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 focus includes the company’s activities dating to the late 1970s, including a period of at least a decade when Exxon Mobil funded groups that sought to undermine climate science. A major focus of the investigation is whether the company adequately warned investors about potential financial risks stemming from society’s need to limit fossil-fuel use. […]

“This could open up years of litigation and settlements in the same way that tobacco litigation did, also spearheaded by attorneys general,” said Brandon L. Garrett, a professor at the University of Virginia law school. “In some ways, the theory

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Residents of most states suing over Clean Power Plan support stricter controls on CO2 emissions

heads in the sand for climate change

Republicans and coal-state Democrats have yet to wise up on climate change
 and the administration’s Clean Power Plan.

Almost immediately after the Obama administration’s final Clean Power Plan rule became official when it was published in the Federal Register Oct. 23, the mostly Republican attorneys general of 26 states sued.
The Environmental Protection Agency-developed rule requires existing power plants to cut their 2030 carbon emissions by 32 percent compared with 2005. It also regulates emissions of new power plants. That’s 870 million tons less carbon pollution, equal to the emissions of 166 million passenger cars, or 70 percent of the U.S. car total.

Although the rule covers both coal-fired and natural gas-fired power plants, gas operations can easily meet the emissions goals while coal plants will find it extremely difficult. The Environmental Protection Agency chose to give the states flexibility in how they reduce emissions, letting each come up

Poll on coal regulations support

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Cartoon: Hollingsworth Hound learns the Truth about climatologists

Book Two of Ruben Bolling’s news kids book series, The EMU Club Adventures, is out this week!  Get GHOSTLY THIEF OF TIME for the kid or emu in your life!  “A pleaser for Wimpy Kid fans” –Kirkus Reviews

FOLLOW @RubenBolling on Twitter and Facebook.

AND JOIN the Tom the Dancing Bug subscription club, the INNER HIVE.  

Cartoon: Hollingsworth Hound learns the Truth about climatologists

Book Two of Ruben Bolling’s news kids book series, The EMU Club Adventures, is out this week!  Get GHOSTLY THIEF OF TIME for the kid or emu in your life!  “A pleaser for Wimpy Kid fans” –Kirkus Reviews

FOLLOW @RubenBolling on Twitter and Facebook.

AND JOIN the Tom the Dancing Bug subscription club, the INNER HIVE.  

Merkley and Sanders introduce bill to end new and non-producing oil and gas leases on public lands

Jeff merkley

Sen. Jeff Merkley announces “Keep It in the Ground” legislation. On his right is tribal leader
Tara Zhaabowekwe Houska‎, with co-sponsor Sen. Bernie Sanders peering over Merkley’s shoulder.

Flanked by Sierra Club president Aaron Mair, tribal rights attorney Tara Zhaabowekwe Houska‎, and 350.org founder Bill McKibben, Sen. Jeff Merkley and Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced legislation Wednesday to stop issuing leases to extract fossil fuels from on- and off-shore federal lands. Titled the Keep It in the Ground Act, the bill would also terminate all existing federal leases that are not producing. Co-sponsors of the legislation are Democratic Sens. Barbara Boxer, Ben Cardin, Kirsten Gillibrand, Patrick Leahy, and Elizabeth Warren.
Behind the legislation is a simple message: When the common good depends on our adapting to and ameliorating the impacts of climate change, it makes no sense for public land meant for that common good to continue as a source

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Open thread for night owls. Will a Paris climate agreement spark $90 trillion energy transformation?

Arctic Protest sign outside Chevron offices.

The 21st Conference of the Parties of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change will begin in Paris in four weeks. As in the past, there are both high hopes and jaded expectations for the outcome of COP21. Between then and now, Night Owls will be highlighting numerous and diverse outside essays and analyses as well as original Daily Kos material regarding what outcome activists and others believe is needed from the Paris talks. “Diverse” in the sense that some of these pieces will contradict one another.
Here are excerpts from a piece by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard at the Daily Telegraph:

The fossil fuel industry has taken a very cavalier bet that China, India and the developing world will continue to block any serious effort to curb greenhouse emissions, and that there is, in any case, no viable alternative to oil, gas or coal for decades to come.

Both

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Cartoon: Last-minute Halloween costumes


Click to enlarge.

It’s the end of October and the pop-up Halloween stores have been picked clean. Here are some costume ideas for the procrastinators among you.

The 1980’s Exxon panel is totally true, although the climate scientists involved probably weren’t dressed like Valley Girls.

Christie talks climate change at debate, but he gets it wrong, wrong, wrong

Chris Christie

He’s not a denier, but his climate change policies still reek.

If you watched the junior varsity Republican debate Wednesday night, you got to see two candidates talk (oh-so-briefly) about climate change who aren’t in the deniers’ corner: former New York Gov. George Pataki John Kasich and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. But while admitting that human-caused climate change is real, both have adopted a fossil fuel-friendly “all of the above” energy approach and support other policies that will worsen greenhouse gas emissions rather than reduce them. Then, too, neither guy has a chance of getting the nomination.
Almost without a doubt, that’s also true for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who got unsolicited advice Thursday from The New York Times editorial board to drop out of the contest. But since he was the only Varsity Republican to be asked a climate change question by CNBC moderators in Boulder, it’s

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Open thread for night owls: The House committee even worse than the Benghazi committee

David Roberts:

The Benghazi committee is not even the worst committee in the House. I’d argue that the House science committee, under the chairmanship of Lamar Smith (R-TX), deserves that superlative for its open-ended, Orwellian attempts to intimidate some of the nation’s leading scientists and scientific institutions.
The science committee’s modus operandi is similar to the Benghazi committee’s — sweeping, catchall investigations, with no specific allegations of wrongdoing or clear rationale, searching through private documents for out-of-context bits and pieces to leak to the press, hoping to gain short-term political advantage — but it stands to do more lasting long-term damage. […]

The science committee, Fox News, the Daily Caller, climate deniers, CEI — at this point, it’s all one partisan operation, sharing information and strategies.

The full article is well worth a read.



Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2002Mexico

Petrolcide T-shirt for Daily Kos Store ad banner

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Intent on discrediting climate scientists, witch-hunting House committee chairman subpoenas NOAA

Lamar Smith at NASA HQ discussing possible Mars trip Sept. 29, 2015.

Lamar Smith, Committee on Science, Space and Technology, seems to think science is a scam.

Early this year, House Republicans decided to give some of its committee chairpersons the same kind of unilateral subpoena power once wielded by Rep. Darrell Issa of the House Oversight Committee on Government Reform. In practice that means these committee chairs can issue subpoenas without consulting with the top Democrats on their panels, which had long been the previous practice. This opens the door to ridiculous fishing expeditions.
One chairperson with this new power is Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, who heads the Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Smith is one of the more than half of House Republicans who reject climate science. David Roberts at Vox points out in a scathing assessment that the committee is engaged in “open-ended, Orwellian attempts to intimidate some of the nation’s leading scientists and scientific institutions”:

The

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Obama tackles climate change in weekly address, challenges Congress to act


After all, as Pope Francis reminds us so eloquently, this planet is a gift from God – and our common home. We should leave it to our kids in better shape than we found it.

President Obama tackled climate change—both the progress being made to fight it and the challenges ahead—in his weekly address this morning, laying out the achievements of his administration: more acreage set aside as public lands, local alliances created to protect endangered wildlife, creation of numerous sanctuaries, and joining an international coalition to fight illegal overfishing.
He also pointed to America’s leadership in lowering emissions and working on clean energy solutions, claiming that this leadership will help guide the Paris talks in December when countries will work together to tackle climate change challenges. But there’s more to be done domestically, and he knows where to start:

Now Congress has to do its job. This month, even

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Open thread for night owls. Carbon Tracker Initiative: What will success for Paris COP21 look like?

The 21st Conference of the Parties of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change will begin in Paris in a little more than five weeks. As in the past, there are both high hopes and jaded expectations for the outcome of COP21. Between then and now, Night Owls will be highlighting numerous and diverse outside essays and analyses as well as original Daily Kos material regarding what outcome activists and others believe is needed from the Paris talks. “Diverse” in the sense that some of these pieces will contradict one another.
Tonight’s edition excerpts the views of Anthony Hobley, the chief executive of the Carbon Tracker Initiative:

[…] Here I want to focus particularly on why it does not matter if Paris is unlikely to produce a legally binding treaty. In a world where such a treaty would require ratification by the US Congress such expectations are

owls
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Open thread for night owls. Carbon Tracker Initiative: What will success for Paris COP21 look like?

The 21st Conference of the Parties of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change will begin in Paris in a little more than five weeks. As in the past, there are both high hopes and jaded expectations for the outcome of COP21. Between then and now, Night Owls will be highlighting numerous and diverse outside essays and analyses as well as original Daily Kos material regarding what outcome activists and others believe is needed from the Paris talks. “Diverse” in the sense that some of these pieces will contradict one another.
Tonight’s edition excerpts the views of Anthony Hobley, the chief executive of the Carbon Tracker Initiative:

[…] Here I want to focus particularly on why it does not matter if Paris is unlikely to produce a legally binding treaty. In a world where such a treaty would require ratification by the US Congress such expectations are

owls
Banner Ad linked to Daily KosT-shirt store

Continue reading “Open thread for night owls. Carbon Tracker Initiative: What will success for Paris COP21 look like?”

Open thread for night owls. Carbon Tracker Initiative: What will success for Paris COP21 look like?

The 21st Conference of the Parties of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change will begin in Paris in a little more than five weeks. As in the past, there are both high hopes and jaded expectations for the outcome of COP21. Between then and now, Night Owls will be highlighting numerous and diverse outside essays and analyses as well as original Daily Kos material regarding what outcome activists and others believe is needed from the Paris talks. “Diverse” in the sense that some of these pieces will contradict one another.
Tonight’s edition excerpts the views of Anthony Hobley, the chief executive of the Carbon Tracker Initiative:

[…] Here I want to focus particularly on why it does not matter if Paris is unlikely to produce a legally binding treaty. In a world where such a treaty would require ratification by the US Congress such expectations are

owls
Banner Ad linked to Daily KosT-shirt store

Continue reading “Open thread for night owls. Carbon Tracker Initiative: What will success for Paris COP21 look like?”

Open thread for night owls. Carbon Tracker Initiative: What will success for Paris COP21 look like?

The 21st Conference of the Parties of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change will begin in Paris in a little more than five weeks. As in the past, there are both high hopes and jaded expectations for the outcome of COP21. Between then and now, Night Owls will be highlighting numerous and diverse outside essays and analyses as well as original Daily Kos material regarding what outcome activists and others believe is needed from the Paris talks. “Diverse” in the sense that some of these pieces will contradict one another.
Tonight’s edition excerpts the views of Anthony Hobley, the chief executive of the Carbon Tracker Initiative:

[…] Here I want to focus particularly on why it does not matter if Paris is unlikely to produce a legally binding treaty. In a world where such a treaty would require ratification by the US Congress such expectations are

owls
Banner Ad linked to Daily KosT-shirt store

Continue reading “Open thread for night owls. Carbon Tracker Initiative: What will success for Paris COP21 look like?”

Open thread for night owls. Carbon Tracker Initiative: What will success for Paris COP21 look like?

The 21st Conference of the Parties of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change will begin in Paris in a little more than five weeks. As in the past, there are both high hopes and jaded expectations for the outcome of COP21. Between then and now, Night Owls will be highlighting numerous and diverse outside essays and analyses as well as original Daily Kos material regarding what outcome activists and others believe is needed from the Paris talks. “Diverse” in the sense that some of these pieces will contradict one another.
Tonight’s edition excerpts the views of Anthony Hobley, the chief executive of the Carbon Tracker Initiative:

[…] Here I want to focus particularly on why it does not matter if Paris is unlikely to produce a legally binding treaty. In a world where such a treaty would require ratification by the US Congress such expectations are

owls
Banner Ad linked to Daily KosT-shirt store

Continue reading “Open thread for night owls. Carbon Tracker Initiative: What will success for Paris COP21 look like?”

Sanders wants DOJ Exxon probe, Whitehouse renews call for RICO investigation over climate fraud

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse has renewed his call for a RICO investigation of fraud by
companies that deceived the public about climate change.

Detailed revelations last month that Exxon officials have paid big bucks to deceive the public about the realities of global warming—even though their own researchers had told them the climate risks of burning fossil fuels more than three decades ago—have sparked loud calls for an official investigation. Citizen activists, a pair of House Democrats from California, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island are all seeking an investigation by the Department of Justice.
As noted here Tuesday by Climate Hawks Vote co-founder RLMiller, Sanders sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking that the Justice Department investigate these allegations, and take appropriate action if the investigation yields evidence of wrongdoing:

These reports, if true, raise serious allegations of a misinformation campaign that

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Former DOJ attorney beat Big Tobacco, wants probe of Exxon and others who buried climate change info

melted iceberg

Exxon and others worked diligently to suppress from the public what they knew to be true about climate change.

Emily Atkin reports:

A former U.S. Department of Justice attorney who prosecuted and won the massive racketeering case against Big Tobacco thinks the agency should consider investigating Big Oil for similar claims: engaging in a cover-up to mislead the public about the risks of its product.
Sharon Eubanks, who now works for the firm Bordas & Bordas, told ThinkProgress that ExxonMobil and other members of the fossil fuel industry could be held liable for violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) if it’s discovered that the companies worked together to suppress knowledge about the reality of human-caused climate change. She said that, considering recent revelations regarding ExxonMobil, the DOJ should consider launching an investigation into big fossil fuel companies.

“I think a RICO action is plausible

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Oh, Donald. Can’t you at least be original in your #@$!¡^+& denier idiocy?

Donald Trump

Since the beginning of the propaganda war waged against the science of climate change, we’ve been cursed by the clueless and the malicious, who actually believe that cold weather is proof global warming is a liberal trick, or proclaim that it is because saying so puts cash in their bank accounts—or furthers their personal political agenda.
We’ve become accustomed to hearing these numbskulls and liars trot out their bogus claims every time a bit of early snow or a longer-than-usual cold snap appears. Sen. Jim Inhofe gets the prize for performance art in this realm, having tossed a snowball kept in a freezer onto the floor of the Senate as proof of his two decades worth of claims that global warming is a hoax.

But our presidential candidates should be held to higher standards. They should at least be original in their denials. Especially with the news that the Antarctic

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Sea rise baked into U.S. future due to global warming

Interactive map showing the hypothetical effects of climate change and related sea level rise. Click image for full function at ClimateChange.org.

Every article on climate change must be prefaced and preconditioned on the tired old refrain: All things in science are tentative, individual weather events are unpredictable and cannot be conclusively tied to a single cause, etc. But it’s admittedly early on in our new, warmer climate paradigm, and if anything the scientists’ warnings have turned out in retrospect to underestimate the environmental impact:

“For every one degree Celsius of warming, the scientists estimate that we should expect 2.3 meters of long-term, eventual sea-level rise, playing out over millennia. That calculation is based on much research and represents the “state of the art,” said Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute, who was not involved in the study but has published previously with Levermann. “It is the best

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