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Can Big Oil afford it?

Posted by Chris Hagerbaumer at Jul 25, 2013 02:45 PM |
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Big Oil argues that they'd suffer under clean fuel requirements came to pass. Let's look closer: can the industry afford a change?

oil money by flickr user *b.Big Oil argues that they'd have to close refineries and lay off thousands if clean fuel requirements came to pass. That's bad math, according to independent experts. 

Exxon Mobil was named the most profitable Global 500 company this month. Five other oil companies were named in the top 20. It begs the question: what can Big Oil afford?

Big Oil can afford accidents

The deadly oil train disaster in Quebec on July 5 took the lives of at least 47 people. And no one has been able to figure out how to stop thousands of barrels of tar sands oil from leaking out of four separate spills that occurred more than six weeks ago in Alberta. The tally of accidents around the world is mindboggling. In the United States alone, more than 16 oil and gas spills and accidents occur on average each day. People and wildlife die, lawsuits are issued, fines are levied--and business for Big Oil continues to boom.

Big Oil can afford enemies

Canadian First Nations, Nigerian villagers, Gulf of Mexico fishermen, and asthmatic children all have reason to feel like oil companies owe them a debt. But Big Oil knows how to influence decision-makers. Here in Oregon, lawmakers have received more than $300,000 in campaign contributions from multinational oil interests over the last decade--and that's not counting contributions from pipeline, refinery, or gas station interests.  

Big Oil can afford it. But we can’t.

We can't afford to keep giving the industry a free pass for the burden they place on our air, water and climate.

It’s time for an industry that has made massive profits off the devastation of the planet and people to be part of the solution. Big Oil can afford to invest in cleaner ways to power our lives, and it has a moral obligation to do so. 

The Clean Fuels Program, which requires petroleum companies to reduce their carbon emissions by 10% over 10 years, will spur cleaner petroleum operations and boost investment in cleaner fuels. Oregon Environmental Council and our allies will be back in Salem in 2014 to ensure the Oregon Legislature lifts the sunset on the Clean Fuels Program. Learn more at Clean Fuels Now.

image by flickr user *b.

 
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