ExxonMobil and Climate Change: A Story of Denial, Delay, and Delusion, Told in Forms 10-K (2009-2016) – Part Three (B): 2010

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From left, ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson, Chevron Chairman and CEO John Watson and ConocoPhillips CEO James Mulva are sworn in before a June 15, 2010 Congressional hearing on the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster. SOURCE: Associated Press

This latest installment of our series addressing how the ExxonMobil Corporation has been engaged in a multi-decadal, systematic campaign of disinformation and deception regarding the climate change threat covers the year 2010 alone, so significant a year it was. Subsequent posts will cover years 2011 to the present (See Part One (1993-2000); Part Two (2000-2008); and Part Three(A) (2009)). These analytic pieces are designed to compare what this multinational fossil fuel corporation has been saying to its investors about the risks it faces as a result of global climate change to what was publicly known and readily knowable at the time, given the state of climate science and major policy developments relevant to the climate threat. We assess statements made in the corporation’s annual 10-K filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), year by year. 10-K reports were chosen for review because they offer one important way shareholders, investors, and financial analysts assess the assets and appraise factors that could inflate or deflate stock prices. We compare and contrast what this corporation says publicly about what it knows regarding climate change as a risk factor, and what it has been discovered to have known (or reasonably should have known) internally; we also look at actions and statements made by the CEO and upper management over time.

The two-part question we have put significant effort into answering is: What has ExxonMobil known about climate change that it does not want its own investors (and the public) to know, and what steps has it taken over the years to keep us from knowing it?
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Posted in Assessments of Climate Impacts and Adaptation, Attacks on Climate Science and Scientists, Climate Change Education and Communication, Climate Change Mitigation, Climate Change Preparedness, Climate Litigation, Climate Science Censorship, Climate Science Watch, General, Global Climate Disruption and Impacts, Global Warming Denial Machine, International Climate Policy, Obama Administration, Obama Climate Plan, Science Communication, Science-Policy Interaction, Scientific Integrity, Uncategorized | Comments Off on ExxonMobil and Climate Change: A Story of Denial, Delay, and Delusion, Told in Forms 10-K (2009-2016) – Part Three (B): 2010

In Memory of Rick Piltz, Founder of GAP’s Climate Science & Policy Watch

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rp-xl-white-houseTwo years ago today, GAP’s Climate Science Watch founder and Bush Administration whistleblower, Rick Piltz, passed away. Rick lived a fascinating life of social change activism and truth-telling, and devoted much of his time during his final days to ensuring his friends and followers could carry on his mission of challenging both those who deny that human activity is the leading cause of climate change and government officials responsible for developing and implementing environmentally insidious energy policies. Above all else, he wanted his nation to demonstrate leadership in dramatically curtailing the burning of fossil fuels and ameliorating other harmful practices that continue to take place.
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Posted in Activism, Attacks on Climate Science and Scientists, Climate Change Education and Communication, Climate Change Preparedness, Climate Litigation, Climate Science Censorship, Climate Science Watch, Climate Science Watch Update, General, Global Climate Disruption and Impacts, Global Warming Denial Machine, Obama Administration, Science-Policy Interaction, Scientific Integrity, U.S. Global Change Research Program, Uncategorized | Comments Off on In Memory of Rick Piltz, Founder of GAP’s Climate Science & Policy Watch

Notes from Underground – Where the Pipeline Ends: How the Dakota Access Pipeline Could – Or Could Not – Happen Again

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Source: “Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein, adapted by Adam Arnold.

The DC Court of Appeals has given the go ahead for construction of the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), which opponents say will threaten the environment, human health, and sites sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe. Despite the setback, there remains hope that the tide is turning against construction of new pipelines.
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“25 and Still Counting” – Congressional Committee Chair Brags About Issuing Subpoena After Subpoena. Is This Vigorous Oversight, or an Abuse of Power?

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Congressional hearing witness, Professor Ronald Rotunda   Source:  http://bit.ly/2d3HH9i

Last week we expressed concerns we share with the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and others that, as Chair of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space and Technology (SST), Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) is on a misguided, overzealous mission to discredit a set of well-established non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and state attorneys general (AGs) who are investigating the Exxon Mobil Corporation for alleged fraud. Our initial concerns remain after observing last week’s full committee hearing to address possible charges of contempt of Congress that may be filed against eight NGOs and two state AGs for refusing to comply with subpoenas Smith unilaterally issued in July. If Chairman Smith decides to seek and is eventually granted the ability to file “inherent contempt” charges (which, technically, can lead to jail time), what kind of precedent would that set, and what would be the lasting consequences for those who are working in the best interests of the public by holding corporations accountable?
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Posted in Assessments of Climate Impacts and Adaptation, Attacks on Climate Science and Scientists, Climate Change Education and Communication, Climate Change Preparedness, Climate Science Censorship, Climate Science Watch, Congress: Legislation and Oversight, Global Climate Disruption and Impacts, Global Warming Denial Machine, Obama Administration, Science Communication, Science-Policy Interaction, Scientific Integrity | Comments Off on “25 and Still Counting” – Congressional Committee Chair Brags About Issuing Subpoena After Subpoena. Is This Vigorous Oversight, or an Abuse of Power?

Federalism, the First Amendment, and Facts vs. Fiction on Climate Change All on Trial Tomorrow at Congressional Hearing

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Source: Editorial Cartoon by John Branch, North America Syndicate, published in the San Antonio Express (Rep. Smith’s congressional district’s local newspaper) on May 26, 2013.  http://editorialcartoonists.com/cartoon/display.cfm/122771/

News cameras and long lines of people waiting to enter a packed hearing room are not the stuff of normal business carried out by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology (House SST), which has a relatively sleepy (but nevertheless important) list of topics under its jurisdiction. Its primary function – reauthorizing (not appropriating) funding and providing general oversight for a host of scientific research and technology development programs across a dozen or so federal agencies – generally attracts the interest of journalists writing for highly specialized newsletters, not major broadcasters. But tomorrow’s 10:00 a.m. hearing in 2318 Rayburn House Office Building promises to further elevate the Committee’s profile, and that of its Chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX). Smith has managed to receive more ink in the press than just about any of his predecessors in this role, primarily over his controversial attitudes toward science and technology in general, and climate change in particular. Tomorrow, he is hoping to lay the groundwork for filing a slew of “contempt of Congress” charges that are bogus at best and dangerous at worst.
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Posted in Assessments of Climate Impacts and Adaptation, Attacks on Climate Science and Scientists, Climate Change Education and Communication, Climate Change Preparedness, Climate Litigation, Climate Science Censorship, Climate Science Watch, Congress: Legislation and Oversight, Global Climate Disruption and Impacts, Global Warming Denial Machine, Science Communication, Science-Policy Interaction, Scientific Integrity | Comments Off on Federalism, the First Amendment, and Facts vs. Fiction on Climate Change All on Trial Tomorrow at Congressional Hearing

ExxonMobil and Climate Change: A Story of Denial, Delay, and Delusion, Told in Forms 10-K (2009-2015)  

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The Golden Pass LNG Terminal at Sabine Pass, Texas is highly vulnerable to sea level rise and storm surges; it is a joint venture among ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, and Qatar Petroleum. Source: http://bit.ly/2cFOkyj

– Part Three (A)
Earlier this year, CSPW posted the first two parts of this series. This third part of three installments addresses whether or how the Exxon Mobil Corporation has disclosed risks associated with climate change to its shareholders and the public through its 10-K filings to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from 2009 through 2015. (Part One covers the period of time from 1993 – 2000, coinciding with the Clinton-Gore administration; Part Two covers 2000 – 2008, coinciding with the Bush-Cheney administration). Part Three (A) covers the latter part of 2008 and 2009; Part Three (B), to be posted shortly, covers 2010 – 2015.) 10-K reports filed before 1993 would also be useful to analyze – especially in light of recent revelations that this company engaged in a robust carbon dioxide research program in the 1970s and corporate scientists warned their bosses of the climate change threat decades ago – but are unavailable online; we are in the process of locating archived copies.

This tedious but insightful exercise is part of a CSPW investigation that parallels important ongoing criminal investigations being conducted by several state attorneys general; and a growing body of reports by universities, investigative journalists, not-for-profit organizations, and others addressing Exxon’s internal understanding of the threats to its own operations and profitability relating to a host of global warming impacts now worsening, relative to how it has communicated these threats to its investors and the public over time. If it can be proved that the corporate leadership at Exxon, which merged with the Mobil Corporation in 1998 to become ExxonMobil, committed fraud by deliberately deceiving shareholders and failing to properly disclose risk factors that would materially compromise stock value, then corporate leadership should be held accountable and justice sought. It’s that simple.

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ExxonMobil Stays Precariously Above Water in Louisiana

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Source: http://read.bi/2bOjSBJ

A Flood of Floods
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has been inundated for over a week. Flooding brought on by torrential rains has left at least thirteen people dead and caused damage to tens of thousands of homes and businesses – including the Exxon Mobil Corporation, one of many petrochemical companies with facilities in the area. The likelihood of this type of extreme weather event has long been predicted by climate scientists.

A study published this March by Nature Climate Change predicted increased flooding based on a climate-driven increase in extreme daily precipitation – in other words, changes not necessarily in the overall rainfall received in an area, but in the amount of rain that falls in any one rain event. The deluge dropped on Baton Rouge and surrounding areas last week is just one example.
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Posted in Assessments of Climate Impacts and Adaptation, Climate Change Education and Communication, Climate Change Mitigation, Climate Change Preparedness, Climate Science Censorship, Climate Science Watch, Congress: Legislation and Oversight, Energy, General, Global Climate Disruption and Impacts, Global Warming Denial Machine, Obama Climate Plan, Science-Policy Interaction, Scientific Integrity | Comments Off on ExxonMobil Stays Precariously Above Water in Louisiana

A Cautionary Tale: CSPW’s Investigation into NCA’s Past Suppression to Prevent Future Political Interference

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

During the eight years of President Bush’s presidency, disputing, delaying, or diminishing the National Climate Assessment’s findings occurred as part of a larger struggle against accepting emerging consensus about anthropogenic climate change.

President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore released the National Climate Assessment, the first comprehensive report on climate change impacts across every region and many sectors of the United States, as a crowning achievement of its administration’s environmental commitment. Envisioned to provide essential information to policymakers addressing and solving the emerging climate change threat, the document, published in 2000 shortly after the election, was meant to catalyze action. Instead, President Bush and Vice President Cheney effectively disposed of the report, and all its valuable warnings virtually disappeared into thin air.

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Posted in Assessments of Climate Impacts and Adaptation, Attacks on Climate Science and Scientists, Climate Change Education and Communication, Climate Change Preparedness, Climate Science Censorship, Climate Science Watch, Climate Science Watch Update, Global Climate Disruption and Impacts, Global Warming Denial Machine, National Security, Science Communication, Science-Policy Interaction, Scientific Integrity, U.S. Global Change Research Program, Whistleblowers | Comments Off on A Cautionary Tale: CSPW’s Investigation into NCA’s Past Suppression to Prevent Future Political Interference

Notes from Underground: Fraxit

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NfUBrexitThere was big news from Great Britain last month, and it wasn’t all about leaving the European Union: on June 1, Scotland voted to permanently ban fracking within its borders, reaffirming an earlier moratorium.

Not long before, a council vote in North Yorkshire, England, allowed for renewed shale oil exploration and fracking for the first time in Great Britain since 2011.

With fracking, as with its relationship with the Continent, the “United” Kingdom is anything but.

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A Lesson in Constitutional Illiteracy: Lamar Smith and the Climate Science Witch Hunt

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Doc2On September 17th of 2014, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology voted 4-3 to grant subpoena powers to the Committee Chair, useable without consultation of the Committee as a whole. This extraordinary power became available for the first time during the current Congress, with Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) serving as Committee Chair. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) expressed concerns about the potential abuse of this power in January of 2015. This summer, the concern has been justified.
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Posted in Assessments of Climate Impacts and Adaptation, Attacks on Climate Science and Scientists, Climate Science Censorship, Global Warming Denial Machine, Scientific Integrity, Whistleblowers | Comments Off on A Lesson in Constitutional Illiteracy: Lamar Smith and the Climate Science Witch Hunt