Climate ChangeRecent Post

How the fossil fuel industry tries to cash in on crises

Ukraine’s IPCC delegate,
Svitlana
Krakovska, summarized the situation
powerfully: “Human-induced climate change and the war on Ukraine have the same
roots — fossil fuels — and our dependence on them.”  

The conflict has exposed the deeper crisis in our energy
system: its reliance on fossil gas. It has also put on display the propaganda
machine that is the fossil fuel industry and its enablers who peddle their own
interests even while countless face the violence of war.

The
fossil fuel industry appears intent on exploiting
this war for their gain. As the crisis escalated, the American Petroleum
Institute was touting how US energy leadership is more important than ever. An
executive at a think tank founded by Standard Oil and GM was running a column in
Bloomberg and the Washington Post proclaiming “fracking Is a powerful weapon
against Russia.”

Stock of the US’s largest liquefied gas exporter jumped 7.6 percent just
hours after Russia’s invasion began. And just days ago, the US gas industry sent a letter to President Biden and
Secretary Granholm to “offer [their] support” and urge that in light of the
invasion, the White House should aim to bring about new “virtual transatlantic
gas pipelines” to bolster US and European energy security.

Despite how the fossil fuel industry tries to exploit
this moment, energy security solutions involve building a future without gas
and the dismantling of polluters’ power.

We
must drop gas altogether, not replace one volatile source with another. Locking
Europe into more volatile imported gas for decades to come clearly doesn’t help
the region’s energy security. The only winners would be the fossil fuel
industry.

In
the short-term, governments must put in place targeted support to protect
households so those at the most significant risk of energy poverty can stay
warm this winter. Governments should also deploy clean cheap renewable power,
upgraded energy systems and better home insulation as fast as possible. The US could
play a crucial role in driving this at home and abroad, speeding the phase out
of fossil fuels.

The
crisis in Ukraine cannot be a proxy for the fossil fuel industry to tout new
projects that pollute our communities and lock the world into a gas reliance. We
simply cannot allow political leaders to pander and cave to the fossil fuel
industry amid a dangerous war exacerbated by fossil fuel dependence. We
must urge Biden to commit to the Build Back Fossil Free campaign: phase out
fossil fuels, phase out gas exports and expedite a just transition to clean
energy.

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