Power of Big Oil, Part Three: Delay (04:50)
The oil and gas industry delayed climate policy and the advancement of alternative energy sources. President Barack Obama promised to do something about climate change. In the midst of a recession, the energy industry was one of the few places for job growth.
Energy Boom (05:30)
During the early Obama Administration, the number of oil and natural gas wells in the U.S. increased. Demand for natural gas increased after Hurricane Katrina and the popularity of fracking grew.
Natural Gas (03:10)
Chesapeake Energy founder Aubrey McClendon led development of natural gas, which creates less CO2 than oil. Natural gas marketed itself as a clean alternative to coal and other fossil fuels.
ExxonMobil and Natural Gas (03:27)
ExxonMobil purchased XTO Energy and became the largest natural gas company in the United States. The company rushed into fracking, creating problems with methane gas regulation.
Methane Emissions (07:57)
Methane gas leaked from natural gas wells is more dangerous to the environment than CO2. The leaks are invisible, allowing natural gas to keep its clean reputation. Scientific reports on the problems were criticized for being overblown.
Power of Natural Gas Industry (04:44)
America became the largest producer of natural gas, which reduced CO2 but increased methane in the atmosphere. Like oil and gas, natural gas had its own lobbyists and researchers to advocate for its benefits.
Obama's Climate Push (05:18)
In his second term, Obama focused on climate, which led to the Paris Agreement. His Clean Power Plan faced opposition from Republicans, backed by coal and natural gas companies.
Renewable Energy (02:55)
Obama's clean energy plan turned Republicans against renewable energy. The opposition was funded by oil and gas companies.
Trump Administration (03:55)
Donald Trump ended Obama's clean energy plan. Many of Trump's appointments were part of the oil and gas industry. He ended or delayed environmental regulations and pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Accords.
Biden Administration (05:36)
Democratic attorney generals began suing ExxonMobil for lying about climate change. A Senate hearing called for heads of oil companies to answer questions about their role. ExxonMobil focused on its carbon capture program.
Energy Crisis (05:19)
While concerns over climate change have continued, the oil and gas industry has warned about an energy transition. The war in Ukraine contributed to the global shortage of energy.
Credits: The Power of Big Oil: Episode 3 (01:01)
Credits: The Power of Big Oil: Episode 3
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