Quote of the Week
“The economic collapse I predict will occur because the world’s petroleum industry lacks the capacity needed to supply additional low-sulfur fuel to the shipping industry [in 2020] while meeting the requirements of existing customers such as farmers, truckers, railroads, and heavy equipment operators.”
Phillip Verleger, oil industry economist, and analyst
Graphics of the Week
1. Oil and the Global Economy
Oil prices climbed steadily through Thursday last week, supported by easing US-EU trade tensions and a temporary shutdown by the Saudis of a critical crude oil shipping lane. On Friday prices fell in sympathy with the US equities market to end the week at $74.29 in London and $68.69 in New York. Crude prices were unfazed last week by the unexpectedly robust US GDP figure, or the threatening rhetoric exchanged between Tehran and Washington.
There are so many issues affecting oil prices these days that analysts are all over the map on forecasts for oil prices. At the bottom of the forecast range is Citi bank which says that Brent soon could fall back into a trading range of $45 to $65 a barrel. Goldman Sachs is in the middle forecasting a $70-80 range for Brent, while Bank of America says that Brent could rise to $90 by the second quarter of next year. However, the Bank says that should Iranian exports be completely cut off then there would be a price spike above $120 a barrel. An interesting outlier from economist Philip K. Verleger suggests that oil prices could increase to $200 a barrel solely because of new regulations on sulfur emissions for maritime fuels which begin in 2020.
Some believe that the markets are ignoring the risks of tightening supplies. These analysts note that the expected increase in oil exports from OPEC and Russia has not materialized and that reports of spare Saudi capacity that will be brought into production are overblown. The attack on two Saudi oil tankers in the Strait of Bab El Mandeb by Yemeni Houthi forces could presage more troubles in the area. The Bab El Mandeb is not militarized by US-NATO naval forces – which means it is far more exposed to attacks than the Strait of Hormuz.
OPEC: Last May a bill was introduced in the US Congress that would let the US sue OPEC for oil price fixing. The proposed law is called “No Oil Producing and Exporting Cartels Act,” or NOPEC. Last week, two Republican Senators and two Democrats introduced legislation aimed at allowing the government to bring lawsuits against OPEC members for antitrust violations. If passed, this bill would be an amendment to the Sherman Anti-trust Act of 1890. One of this act’s central provisions outlaws all combinations that restrain trade between states or with foreign nations. This prohibition applies not only to formal cartels but also to any agreement to fix prices, limit industrial output, share markets, or exclude competition.
In 2007, a similar bill passed in the House of Representatives with a 345-72 vote, and in the Senate by 70-23, only to fail afterward in the face of White House opposition. This time around, however, there is a good chance that Trump would sign such a bill into law. Such a US law could cause considerable mischief by endangering US-Saudi relations.
US Shale Oil Production: In its biggest deal in nearly 20 years, BP has agreed to buy US shale oil and gas assets from Australian miner BHP Billiton for $10.5 billion. The acquisition will give BP access to some of the most desirable acreage in the US shale basins where BP’s scale of operations can provide a considerable advantage. Big oil companies have historically focused more on large offshore projects, but they are increasingly sinking money into shale developments that start producing and making money faster. BHP will book a roughly $2.8-billion charge against assets for its 2018 fiscal year. BHP paid a combined $20 billion to acquire its US shale assets in 2011, and then spent billions more to explore and develop them. But a collapse in oil prices in 2014 resulted in significant losses, including a more than $7-billion pretax charge in 2016 that is its largest-ever single write down.
The BHP experience in US shale oil once again raises the issue as to where US shale oil is going and just who is making money from wells that are mostly used up in two to three years. While the US reached a new record of 11 million barrels of oil production per day last week, the top five shale oil fields also suffered the highest monthly decline rate ever. This is terrible news for the US shale industry as it must produce more and more oil each month to keep oil production from falling. According to the newest EIA Drilling Productivity Report, the top five US shale oil fields monthly decline rate is set to surpass a half million b/d in August. Thus, the companies will have to produce at last 500,000 barrels of new oil next month to keep production flat.
In the charts that are shown above, the UP arrows denote the forecasted new output added from new wells opened during August while the figures above the DOWN arrow provide the monthly decline in production from wells opened any time before the current month. For example, the chart on the bottom right-hand side is for the Permian Region. The EIA forecasts that the Permian will add 296,000 b/d of new shale oil production in August, while production from the existing wells in the field will decline by 223,000 b/d during August from the previous month. Thus the whole Permian Basin is forecast to produce 73,000 b/d more oil in August than in July.
If we add up these top five shale oil fields monthly decline rate for August will be 503,000 b/d. Thus, US shale oil companies must produce at least 503,000 b/d of oil from newly opened wells in August to keep production from falling. This decline rate will continue to increase as shale oil production rises. Again, according to the EIA’s figures, the top five US shale oil fields monthly legacy decline rate increased from 398,000 b/d in January to 503,000 b/d for August:
However, the EIA forecasts that these five largest US shale oil fields will produce 635,000 b/d of oil from newly drilled wells during August resulting in a net increase of 360,000 b/d for the month. For September, the 635,000 b/d from these new wells will start to decline rapidly and add to the decline from “legacy” (more than one month old) wells. At some point in the months ahead, the shale oil industry will not be able to drill enough new wells in a month to keep up with the rapid decline from existing wells. Like the red queen in Alice in Wonderland, the shale oil industry must drill faster and faster just to keep production level.
Pioneer Resources is the largest shale oil producer in the Permian. The company spent $818 million on capital expenditures for additions to oil and gas properties (drilling and completion costs) during the first quarter of 2018, opened 63 new horizontal wells in the Permian, but added 9,000 b/d of oil equivalent over the previous quarter. Pioneer reported $554 million in cash from operations and spent $818 million drilling and completing oil wells in the Permian and a few other locations. Therefore, the largest shale oil producer in the Permian spent $264 million more than they made from operations drilling 63 new wells in the Permian and only added a net 9,000 barrels per day of oil equivalent.
Of the ten shale companies in the chart above (in order: Continental, EOG, Whiting, Concho, Marathon, Oasis, Occidental, Hess, Apache & Pioneer), only three enjoyed positive free cash flow, while seven had free cash flow losses. The net result of the group was a negative $455 million in free cash flow. These losses are taking place even with oil prices at levels that are supposed to be profitable. It is going to take many years of much higher oil prices to recoup the losses the shale oil industry is suffering. Even if oil prices increase significantly in the years ahead, the question is whether there will be enough shale oil left to ever pay back the losses.
2. The Middle East & North Africa
Iran: Last week was marked by threats and counter-threats between Washington and Tehran over the impending US sanctions. At times the rhetoric reached unprecedented levels. The most interesting feature of the week was how little reaction there was in the oil markets which have long been accustomed to inflammatory rhetoric emanating from Tehran, but are getting used to the same class of threats from Washington.
Tehran’s most potent bargaining chip is the ability to halt, or at least attempt to block, oil exports through the Straits of Hormuz. As this would cut off roughly 30 percent of the world’s seaborne oil supplies and much of the oil going to many nations, major hostilities would almost certainly result within hours of an Iranian effort to stop oil tankers transiting the Straits. The exchange of harsh rhetoric resulted in many commentaries as to whether Tehran would ever undertake such a move as it would surely result in unprecedented hardships for Iran.
More sophisticated analyses point out that while blocking the Straits would be tantamount to suicide for Tehran, they have other options such as the attacks on two Saudi oil tankers transiting the Bab al Mandeb Strait in Yemen and Djibouti last week. These attacks resulted in the Saudis temporarily closing the Straits to their oil tankers. By using the Houthi insurgents in Yemen as cutouts in attacks on oil traffic going through the Suez, Tehran could obtain some additional leverage in its dispute with Washington without the risks of open confrontation. This confrontation has months or even years to play and there are many dangers along the way.
Iraq: For the past three weeks, Iraq was rocked by protests. They began in the southern province of Basra, home to over 70 percent of Iraq’s oil reserves, and quickly spread to the rest of the country. Despite Basra’s oil wealth, people lack basic amenities such as clean water, electricity and waste management. They accuse the government of widespread corruption and are demanding sweeping changes.
Electricity service collapsed across several provinces in Iraq on Thursday due to technical failures, as protesters continue to rail against government corruption and incompetence, including renewed demonstrations at oil fields. Power generation came to a halt in Basra, Dhi Qar, and Missan provinces mid-day on Thursday, but began to come back online by early evening. Kirkuk and Ninawa provinces were also affected, according to statements from the Ministry of Electricity.
Saudi Arabia will ship fuel to Basra in order to help Iraq through its electricity crisis and to keep its power flowing, according to reports on Saudi Arabian state TV. The report said large amounts of fuel would be transported to Iraq from the port of Dammam in Saudi Arabia. Power cuts started last week across Iraq after Iran cut electricity and fuel supplies to the country over payment disputes and protests continue across the country as a result of the electricity crisis.
Despite the protests, Iraq’s oil exports continued to increase last week and averaged around 3.5 million b/d; however, the energy sector remains vulnerable if the protests continue. Last week at least two minor attacks including a small roadside bomb were launched against oil facilities.
The political crisis stemming from the disputed election results continues with no end in sight and few important decisions about the future of the country being taken.
Saudi Arabia: Riyadh said on Thursday it was suspending oil shipments through the Red Sea’s Bab al-Mandeb Strait, one of the world’s most important tanker routes, after Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis attacked two ships in the waterway. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said the Houthis attacked two Saudi oil tankers in the Red Sea on Wednesday, one of which sustained minimal damage. A senior oil source said Saudi Arabia had already beefed up security and that all crude vessels in the area are accompanied by warships.
Saudi crude exports through Bab al-Mandeb are estimated at around 500,000-700,000 b/d. Most Gulf oil exports that transit the Suez Canal and SUMED Pipeline pass through the strait. Industry and shipping sources said the suspension was unlikely to impact Saudi crude supplies to Asia, but could add shipping costs to Saudi vessels heading to Europe and the United States due to a longer transit. Traders said the suspension order was only for Saudi-owned vessels, so Saudi Aramco could still charter foreign ships to move its crude. Saudi Arabia also has a 5 million b/d pipeline route to the city of Yanbu on the Red Sea which bypasses the Strait.
The latest price rally is particularly good news for Saudi Arabia, whose budget deficit this year should to shrink to 5.6 percent from 9.3 percent last year. Saudi Aramco, the main revenue source for the Kingdom, is rumored to be seeking a majority stake in one of the world’s largest petrochemical giants – SABIC. Saudi Aramco is said to be weighing use of the international bond market for the first time to finance the acquisition of SABIC, a move into global capital markets that could offer an alternative to an initial public offering of Aramco stock. If Aramco goes ahead with an international bond — potentially among the biggest ever done by a corporate issuer — the sale would force Aramco to disclose its accounts to investors for the first time since nationalization 40 years ago as well as many other details about oil reserves and operations.
As the U.S.-China trade war escalates and policymakers around the world warn that tariffs and counter-tariffs could weaken global economic growth, China is looking to boost its economy with measures to expand domestic demand and promote investments, including in infrastructure. Last week, Beijing announced a mix of tax cuts and infrastructure spending citing “uncertainty,” as it increases efforts to stimulate demand and counteract a weakening economy. The move, late Monday, came the same day as an injection of $74 billion into the banking system by the People’s Bank of China— the central bank’s largest ever, single-day cash injection using that tool. These moves provide growing evidence that China’s policymakers are concerned about how the trade war with the US will exacerbate a domestic slowdown and follow a series of monetary loosening actions in recent weeks.
China’s crude oil imports from the US for July have fallen sharply from June, and are expected to drop even further for August, according to vessel tracking data, as Beijing’s tariffs on US crude imports get closer to implementation. The decline is seen in the procurement activity of state-run Unipec, the trading arm of China’s Sinopec, the world’s largest refiner. “Sinopec will continue to take deliveries of crude from the US in August, but will reduce buying for the rest of the year,” said an executive at a Sinopec refinery,
The EIA’s International Energy Outlook 2018 points out that China’s energy consumption is tied to both its rate of economic growth and the size of its energy-intensive manufacturing industries. Chinese policy goals call for a move away from heavy industry toward a less energy-intensive economy with a greater focus on service industries suggesting that the pace of growth of its demand for oil could be slowing in coming years.
Moscow’s oil production this year will increase to 11.02 million b/d, a new 30-year high, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Wednesday. He said Russia would further raise production to somewhat higher in 2019 after OPEC and other oil producers agreed last month to ease production curbs. Last year Russia’s oil production reached a new 30-year average annual high of 10.98 million b/d despite the country’s participation in the OPEC agreement. While “new highs” may sound impressive, the 300,000 b/d increase is not that significant when compared to increasing global demand of circa 1.5 million b/d.
The IMF recently called the economic crisis in Venezuela “profound” as a substantial drop in oil production takes its toll. The Fund noted that real gross domestic product for Venezuela is on pace to drop 18 percent this year, the third year in a row for a double-digit decline. Racing to keep up with hyper-inflation which the IMF forecasts will hit 1,000,000 percent this year, the Venezuelan government announced that it would knock five zeros off its currency, the Bolívar — not the three it had previously planned.
Even after the new bills come into circulation, they will not be worth much. At the current rate of inflation, which the opposition-controlled National Assembly estimated at an annualized 46,305 percent in June, the highest denomination bill would be worth only $6 by the end of August. By the end of this year it would be worth 20 cents.
President Maduro also announced that part of the country’s oil reserves in the Orinoco Basin would be transferred to the central bank and would be included in the country’s international reserves. This move could be symbolic, designed simply to inflate the reserves number, or the government might be planning to convert ownership of the oil reserves into a tradable asset. “This would be tantamount to the government’s selling the country’s oil under the ground as a source of financing.” Venezuela currently is in the midst of one of the worst economic meltdowns in Latin American history.
7. The Briefs (selections from the press – date of article in Peak Oil News is in parentheses – see more here: news.peak-oil.org)
Oil prices could spike as high as $200 per barrel over the next 18 months, which would cause an “economic crash of horrible proportions,” according to a new report. A research paper from economist and oil market watcher Philip K. Verleger predicts there could be a shortage of low-sulfur diesel fuel in 2020 as a result of regulations from the International Maritime Organization aimed at cutting sulfur emissions. (7/25)
China’s decision to regulate maritime fuels could have a significant impact on international efforts to lower emissions from shipping, analysis finds. Following its so-called Blue Sky initiative, the Chinese Ministry of Transport announced extensions to emission control areas along the coastline. (7/25)
Big oil’s best threesome: Investors should feel confident about BP’s, Eni’s and Shell’s increased wave of new project approvals during the recent downturn. A Rystad Energy review of the performance of their recent projects against those of other operators shows that the three European oil giants have outperformed their peers. (7/25)
The Norwegian government gave Equinor consent to start production drilling in an oil field in the Norwegian Sea set for a production start next year. Equinor submitted a field development plan for Trestakk in 2016, outlining capital spending for the program of around $675 million. Discovered in 1986, production is slated for 2019. (7/27)
In the UK, shale gas developer Cuadrilla on Tuesday became the first operator in Britain to receive final consent from the government to frack an onshore horizontal exploration well, paving the way for commercial production. (7/25)
British energy company Cuadrilla Resources is still facing protests over shale gas work, despite work that was pumping millions of dollars into the local economy. The company said Tuesday it was taking legal action against six protestors who blocked access to its shale exploration site in Lancashire earlier this month. (7/26)
Russia’s Gazprom said Wednesday that just over 90 percent of its Power of Siberia gas pipeline to China is completed. Gazprom said construction on the facilities for gas production from fields feeding the 1,350-mile pipeline is about halfway completed. Pipeline testing and installation of a power supply is scheduled for 2019. Gazprom has a 30-year sales agreement with China National Petroleum Corp. (7/26)
In Israel, the Trump administration is pressing for a go-ahead on a gas pipeline deal it signed with Jordan a few years ago. The deal has been frozen due to a rekindling of tensions between Tel Aviv and Amman. The Israeli Prime Minister’s chief economic adviser is a staunch opponent of the Red-Dead pipeline that will link the two seas, believing it is not worth the $150 million to be invested. Of this, the US has undertaken to provide $100 million. (7/28)
Saudi Arabia will invest $10 billion in energy projects in South Africa. The funds will be used to build refineries and will also be used to advance petrochemicals and renewable energy projects in the developing economy. The funds can’t come soon enough for South Africa, whose power sector outages likely represent the African nation’s number one problem—99 days of rolling blackouts during 2016. (7/23)
In India, Iran has overtaken Saudi Arabia as the nation’s number two oil supplier in the April-June quarter. Iraq remains India’s number-one supplier of crude. While Iran ousted Saudi Arabia as the number two oil supplier, Iran’s oil shipments to India year over year are down. Iraq’s, on the other hand, have increased, perhaps as India looks to wind down shipments ahead of US sanctions on Iran that go into effect in November 2018. (7/24)
Sri Lanka will pay down its oil debt held by Iran with tea—a full year’s worth—in response to new regulations that Sri Lanka has issued in order to comply with a UN Security Council Resolution. (7/24)
Australian energy company Melbana said surveys have started in the Beehive prospect, one of the largest undrilled prospects in the country. Melbana has 20 percent of the options in Beehive, alongside Total and Australian energy company Santos. Melbana says the Beehive prospect is potentially the largest undrilled hydrocarbon prospect in Australia. (7/25)
In Kenya, Tullow Oil had threatened over the weekend to shut down its oil wells in the Lokichar basin if the government does not act soon to remedy production, security, and transportation problems. Tullow pulled the trigger not even three days later as it finds it difficult to transfer oil to the Kenyan coast as locals continue to interfere with transportation and operations unabated. (7/26)
In Guyana, gross discovered recoverable resources for Hess Oil’s Stabroek Block has been revised upward to 4 billion barrels of oil equivalent—up from the previous estimate of 3.2 billion barrels. Since the end of 2016, the estimate for recoverable resources on the block has quadrupled. (7/24)
In Mexico, president-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Friday his administration will look to boost the country’s crude oil production to 2.5 million barrels per day (bpd) from 1.9 million bpd now. Mexico’s oil and gas output has declined steadily over the past 14 years due to a lack of investment and natural depletion of oil fields. (7/28)
Mexico’s Pemex on Friday reported a 163.16 billion peso ($8.2 billion) net loss for the second quarter due to foreign exchange losses and higher costs. That compares with a profit of 32.76 billion pesos in the year-ago period. Pemex’s crude production slipped 7.3 percent in the quarter to an average of 1.866 million barrels per day, while natural gas production fell 9.7 percent to 3.915 billion cubic feet per day. (7/28)
Canadian oilsands boost: Despite continued takeaway capacity constraints, Canada’s top two oil producers raised their production in the second quarter, as demand for heavy Canadian oil among US Gulf Coast refiners has been rising at a time when Venezuelan heavy oil supply is dwindling. (7/27)
Canadian provinces Newfoundland and Labrador have agreed with Norway’s Equinor to develop a deepwater oil project off Canada’s eastern coasts that will cost US$5.2 billion ( C$6.8 billion. Equinor Canada is the operator of the Bay du Nord oil discovery, made in 2013 and estimated to hold more than 300 million barrels of light, high-quality crude oil. The Bay du Nord oil project aims for first oil in 2025. Bay du Nord is the first remote, deepwater project in the province’s offshore. It is located 500 kilometers (311 miles) from shore at a depth of around 1,200 meters (3,937 feet). (7/27)
The US oil rig count increased by 3 to 861 last week while the gas rig count dipped by 1 to 186, according to Baker Hughes. The oil and gas rig count now stands at 1,048—up 90 from this time last year, with oil rigs accounting for all of that increase. Canada gained 12 oil and gas rigs for the week, all of which were oil rigs. Canada’s oil and gas rig count is now up just 3 year over year. (7/28)
Chesapeake Energy Corp. is selling its last remaining oil and gas holdings in Ohio’s Utica Shale, a move aimed at whittling down the company’s debt and enabling it to focus increasingly on crude production. The roughly $2 billion sale to Houston-based Encino Acquisition Partners, announced Thursday, is the latest in a series of deals by Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake to improve its finances. (7/27)
Phillips 66 is running all the heavy Canadian crude oil the independent refiner can handle at its US refineries and will not seek additional supply from a new pipeline, CEO Garland said on Friday. “We’re bringing over 500,000 barrels a day of Canadian crude in today.” (7/28)
Nat-gas exports: The US Energy Department on Wednesday cleared the way for faster approval of small-scale exports of natural gas, including liquefied natural gas to Latin American countries, by issuing a rule that does away with a public interest review of the shipments. (7/26)
Inventories of distillate fuel, a category that includes both diesel and home heating oil, were 117.7 million barrels at the end of June, the lowest end-of-June level since 2004. Relatively low inventory levels reflect growth in distillate consumption during 2018 that has not been fully offset by increased domestic refinery production or by lower net exports of distillate. EIA estimates that US consumption of distillate fuel averaged 5% higher than in the same period of 2017. This increase is largely attributable to an increase in trucking activity, which is the leading use of diesel fuel. (7/28)
Airline fuel cost blues: Many of the biggest US airlines are cutting flights and raising fares to counteract rising fuel prices that are threatening a long run of profitability. American Airlines, the world’s largest airline by revenue, on Thursday trimmed its profit outlook for 2018 and pledged to cut capacity and delay delivery of some new Airbus SE jetliners after fuel costs rose 40% in the second quarter compared with last year. (7/27)
Colorado ballot hammer? There’s a good chance that a ballot initiative to significantly expand the buffer zones between oil and gas wells and homes and other buildings could be up for voting by Colorado residents in the November election. In the politically mixed state of Colorado, residents still remember last year’s deadly explosion at a home in Firestone, and people in some towns have tried to ban fracking operations—and almost succeeded. (7/25)
Exxon exodus: Following a public spat over climate change legislation, oil giant ExxonMobil has pulled its membership from the Koch brothers-backed anti-climate-change lobbying group, American Legislative Exchange Council. Neither ExxonMobil nor ALEC has commented publicly on the reasons for the company’s departure. (7/25)
MPG rollback: Trump administration officials are preparing to issue a proposal within days to freeze fuel-efficiency standards for cars and light trucks for six years and challenge the right of California and other states to set their own standards. The move would amount to one of the biggest regulatory rollbacks of the Trump presidency. In late 2016, the agencies concluded that stricter fuel-efficiency targets would save consumers money without compromising safety. Now, the current and former officials said, the government is poised to project that these goals would boost vehicle price tags and could endanger Americans by encouraging them to stick to driving older, less-safe cars and trucks. (7/25)
Air-conditioning equipment is used in 87% of homes in the US and, according to the latest EIA Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS), home air-conditioning costs averaged $265 in 2015, or 12% of total home energy expenditures. (7/24)
Russia-China coal megaproject? Some 80km from the Chinese border, the tiny Russian village of Yerkovtsy might provide the setting for a new Russo-Chinese megaproject. The $10 billion coal-fueled+ 4 GW Yerkovetskaya power plant, a joint project of Inter RAO and the State Grid Corporation of China, is back on the agenda, with high-profile state-owned financial institutions ready to back the project. The transmission lines from the Yerkovetskaya plant would go all the way down to Beijing, some 1500 km southwards, a sufficient distance to keep all burning-related contaminants far away from the Chinese capital. (7/25)
India’s coal imports up: India’s 12 key state-run ports handled 28.29 million mt of thermal coal imports during April-June, up 19% year on year, latest data from Indian Ports Association released Saturday showed. (7/23)
The future of nuclear energy may well be much smaller. Dozens of companies are working on a new generation of reactors that, they promise, can deliver nuclear power at lower cost and reduced risk. These small-scale plants will on average generate between 50MW and 300MW of power compared with the 1,000MW-plus from a conventional reactor. (7/25)
Tidal power: The European Commission said Thursday it supported a French effort to work to demonstrate the potential benefits of producing electricity through tidal energy. A plant operated by British energy company EDF aims to test the potential for tidal energy. The demonstration plant in the English Channel could generate as much as 14 megawatts of energy. (7/27)
Electrify Canada: Volkswagen Group Canada has formed Electrify Canada, a new company that will build an ultra-fast electric vehicle direct current (DC) charging network across Canada. Volkswagen expects the network to be operational starting in the second quarter of 2019. (7/24)
UK’s EV pushback: Despite the many announcements for new electric vehicle models coming to the market and government initiatives to support EV adoption, UK motorists remain reluctant—if not stubborn—to make the switch to electric cars. Of 200 people surveyed, just 15 percent said they would definitely be making the switch to an EV or hybrid vehicle when they next purchase a car or choose an alternative company vehicle. Almost 50 percent said that they don’t see themselves considering switching to an EV or a hybrid vehicle for another 10 to 15 years, if not longer. (7/27)
$$ killing climate bills: Legislation to address climate change has repeatedly died in Congress. But a major new study says the policy deaths were not from natural causes — they were caused by humans, just like climate change itself is. Climate action has been repeatedly drowned by a devastating surge and flood of money from the fossil fuel industry — nearly $2 billion in lobbying since 2000 alone. (7/24)