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Destruction is at the heart of everything we do: Chevron’s junk climate action agenda and how it intensifies global harm

By Rachel Rose Jackson and Adrien Tofighi-Niaki - Corporate Accountability, May 2023

This exposé brings into question Chevron’s proclaimed climate action and ‘green’ image. Analysis of the activities associated with Chevron’s ‘net zero’ climate action plan raises significant concerns about whether its ‘climate action’ is displacing the needed emissions reductions to avoid climate catastrophe, spurring harm to communities and ecosystems, and further hindering the likelihood of meaningful climate action globally.

Key findings this research yielded:

  • More than 90% of the carbon offsets Chevron has retired through the voluntary carbon market to ‘cancel out’ its emissions seem to be worthless— presumed ‘junk’ until proven otherwise.
  • The technological ‘low carbon’ schemes appear to be failing to capture the emissions promised, in some cases missing targets by as much as 50%.
  • A major proportion of the schemes it’s investing in as part of its ‘net zero’ plan are linked to claims of local community abuse, environmental degradation, and/or may even be fueling further emissions. Almost all of the harm claimed to have been inflicted is on communities in the Global South.
  • Chevron’s ‘net zero’ pledge—even if fully implemented to the greatest effect without causing harm—overlooks 90% of the total emissions associated with its business practices.
  • Chevron is ignoring the scientifically founded need for a fossil fuel phase out, projecting emissions for 2022-2025 equivalent to that of 10 European countries during a similar period.
  • It invests millions annually to manipulate the political will for climate action, seeking to shape climate policy to its will.

It’s imperative that shareholders, policymakers, and the public see Chevron’s green claims for what they are—greenwashed destruction. As this exposé illustrates, Chevron appears to be continuing its legacy of preventing, not promoting, the legally binding regulations, the rapid deployment of real solutions and the fast track to Real Zero emissions that needs to happen to avert climate catastrophe.

Download a copy of this publication here (link).

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Derailment Spree Proves Railway Regulations Urgently Needed, Say Union Members

By Kenny Stancil - Common Dreams, April 3, 2023

"These companies siphon billions into share buybacks, dividends, and bonuses rather than into the vital maintenance and infrastructure growth we need to build a safe, modern, and thriving rail industry," said one worker.

After at least six major freight train derailments occurred across the United States over the past week, the need for stronger rail safety rules couldn't be clearer, an interunion alliance of rail workers said Monday.

"The recent uptick in derailments across the U.S. highlights the dire need for stricter regulations on the length and weight of trains, as well as a focus on preventing unsafe operational practices such as precision scheduled railroading (PSR) which prioritizes short-term financial gains for Wall Street over the safety of communities and railroad workers," Jason Doering, a locomotive engineer and general secretary of Railroad Workers United (RWU), said in a statement.

The past week "was not a good one" for the nation's Class 1 rail carriers, RWU observed.

On Sunday, March 26, a Canadian Pacific train carrying hazardous materials careened off the tracks outside Wyndmere, North Dakota, spilling liquid asphalt and ethylene glycol and releasing propylene vapor.

Last Monday, a Union Pacific iron ore train reached 118 miles per hour as it ran away down Cima Hill in the Mojave Desert before wrecking on a curve, destroying two locomotives and 55 cars in San Bernardino County, California.

On Wednesday, a Canadian National iron ore train derailed in Butler County, Pennsylvania.

On Thursday, a BNSF train carrying ethanol and corn syrup crashed near Raymond, Minnesota, causing a fire that forced local residents to flee.

On Friday, a Norfolk Southern train went off the tracks in Irondale, Alabama.

One day ago, a train operated by the Class 2 regional Montana Rail Link—soon to be owned by BNSF—derailed on the banks of the Clark Fork River in Paradise, Montana.

Certified Disaster: How Project Canary and Gas Certification Are Misleading Markets and Governments

By Collin Rees, Allie Rosenbluth, Valentina Stackl, et. al - Oil Change International, April 2023

This report examines the gas certification market, specifically one of the current industry leaders, Project Canary. We raise serious concerns about the integrity of gas certification and so-called “Responsibly Sourced Gas” (RSG). Our investigation, which included field observations of oil and gas wells in Colorado monitored by Project Canarya, exposed significant shortcomings in its operations and claims.

  • Project Canary monitors consistently fail to detect pollution events: Earthworks’ trained oil and gas thermographers captured alarming evidence of Project Canary monitors failing to detect emissions in the field. The seven-month survey found that Continuous Emissions Monitors (CEMs)b failed to capture every significant pollution event detected with Optical Gas Imaging (OGI) cameras. Our observations suggest that the company is misrepresenting the capabilities of its technology – a concern echoed in the testimony we gathered from several industry experts – and the underlying data behind certified gas.
  • Greenwashing: Project Canary’s marketing aggressively positions its certification services as a conduit to a ‘net zero’ emissions world. Its CEO has openly discussed fixing the gas industry’s “brand problem.” In doing so, the company appears to be aligning itself with gas industry lobbyists and pushing the concept of ‘net zero’ to new levels of incredulity, which risks sabotaging rather than serving global climate goals. The company is pushing a false narrative that methane gas is an energy source compatible with climate goals as long as it is certified as being produced below a certain methane threshold.
  • Lack of Transparency: Despite claims of ‘radical transparency’ and third-party verification, there is limited access for regulators, academics, or the public to the data generated by the certification process. Given the evidence that monitoring may not be reliable, there is clear justification for greater scrutiny from regulators, scientists, and concerned citizens.
  • Conflicts of Interest: Evidence suggests that a key Project Canary DIrector and Advisory Board Members have direct financial interests in the same gas companies it certifies.

Download a copy of this publication here (PDF).

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Retired Union Members Across the U. S. Join Third Act, Say “Keep Fossil Fuels in the Ground”

By Bob Muehlenkamp - Portside, March 16, 2023

Over the last 6 months retired members from over 30 International Unions have joined Third Act, and are planning, and in some cases leading, rallies, marches, and demonstrations on 3/21/23–the Day of Action Against the Dirty Banks.

Bill McKibben recently formed Third Act, an organization designed as a vehicle for “elders” to engage directly in the two great existential issues of our time: the fight to save democracy and the climate crisis. Here’s how he describes Third Act’s mission:

“My generation should more actively join the climate movement following in the footsteps of a galvanized youth …. People in their third act are likely to have the skill, resources, time, and sometimes lots of grandchildren who can serve as an added incentive to act for the benefit of future generations.”

The Union page on the Third Act website  ( underlines the unique role retired union members can make to the climate crisis struggle:

We don’t have the time.

“In our working lives as trade unionists we organized, bargained contracts, fought bosses, elected officials, lobbied for and passed  legislation, joined with allies in common cause in the unending for economic, racial, and social justice.  We are in the front line of the fight to save democracy.  Every struggle takes time, compromise, and a continuing agenda–la lucha continua.

The Democratic Party Failed Striking Warrior Met Coal Miners in Alabama

By Hamilton Nolan - In These Times, February 20, 2023

Web editor's note: the author repeats the debatable claim that working class voters have gravitated towards Trumpism and the Republican Party, but in actual fact, it's white, rural, (mostly male) residents who earn less than $70,000 US annually without college degrees that have made this shift, but such voters do not represent the majority of the working class, and many of them are not actualy working class at all, so this shift is vastly overstated. That said, the condemnation of the Democratic Party us well deserved anyway:

Political strategists seem content to cede red states to Republicans, and thereby confirm for the working people living in those states that their belief that Democrats don't really care about them is justified.

After almost two years on the picket line, the hundreds of United Mine Workers of America members who have been on strike at Warrior Met Coal in Alabama have offered to go back to work. They still do not have the fair contract they have sacrificed so much for. Their negotiations will continue, but they did not win this strike—and that is tragic. The company and its private equity owners bear the most direct responsibility for precipitating this heartless, inhuman struggle. But if you are looking for a meaningful place to focus your rage over the way that this strike has turned out, look directly at the Democratic Party.

Imagine, hypothetically, that we were living in a period of history in which inequality has soared for a half-century, thanks in large part to the decline of unions and working-class bargaining power; in which the American Dream has been hollowed out, and decades of economic gains have flowed almost exclusively to the rich; in which poorly designed free trade policies supported by Democrats have sucked middle America dry of once-abundant blue-collar jobs; in which the obvious failures of neoliberalism to rectify this situation have soured millions of once-reliable blue voters on the Democratic Party, and tempted them into a Republican Party that offers easy scapegoats for systemic problems; in which this toxic lack of opportunity paved the way for a xenophobic, lying narcissist to spend four years in the White House on the strength of racist fables about making America great again. Imagine, further, that after those dark four years, Democrats were back in power; that they had a leader who proclaimed himself the most pro-union president of our lifetimes; and that he led a party that fretted continuously about how to win back working-class voters from the clutches of Trumpism.

Then imagine that there was a long, grinding strike. By coal miners. In Alabama. Who were fighting against the predations of the sort of ultra-insulated capitalist financiers who are accelerating the inequality crisis. Imagine that walkout became the longest major strike in America, dragging on well past the point when most people would have given up, with the strikers assaulted by oppressive police and court rulings. And yet, for month after month, these workers persevered, held the line, and sacrificed greatly in order to fight for dignity and the fundamental ability for working people to be treated fairly by the faceless forces of capital.

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