Over at Real Clear Energy, Jude Clemente has this post discussing the decision in the court case that ExxonMobil did not deceive or mislead investors over climate change impacts. There, the New York Attorney General had sued the oil and gas giant, alleging the company had misled investors over the true cost of climate change.
“The Office of the Attorney General failed to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that ExxonMobil made any material misstatements or omissions about its practices and procedures that misled any reasonable investor,” Judge Barry Ostrager of the trial-level state Supreme Court wrote in his ruling.
“The office of the Attorney General produced no testimony from any investor who claimed to have been misled by any disclosure, even though the Office of the Attorney General had previously represented it would call such individuals as trial witnesses,” he added.
One of Clemente’s themes is that all of these climate change cases are frivolous and a tremendous waste of taxpayer dollars. Agreed. But even more importantly, he reminds us just how important oil and gas are to us:
The hollowness of these climate cases is really as obvious as it seems. ExxonMobil and the other producers aren’t the oil and gas users: we are. Oil, for instance, is literally the basis of globalization, the sine qua non of our increasingly connected world. Oil and its petrochemicals are ingrained in basically everything that we do, the foundation of over 6,000 products that we use everyday. Most ironically, oil is an essential component of the manufacturing processes to create, transport, and install renewable energy systems.
Gas will supply 40% of U.S. electricity this year, up from 20% a decade ago. And not just the backup for intermittent wind and solar power, gas is expected to easily add the most new generation in the years ahead. “10 ‘Reality Check’ Problems That Must Be Addressed By Opponents Of Coal, Oil And Natural Gas.” As a cleaner fuel with less CO2 and criteria emissions, our shift to gas is specifically cited by the International Energy Agency as the reason why the U.S. is lowering emissions faster than any other nation ever – “in the history of energy.”
Our love affair with their indispensable products will continue to give oil and gas companies the ultimate “social license to operate:”
- Every day, Americans use 410 million gallons of oil-based gasoline
- Every day, Americans use 170 million gallons of oil-based diesel fuel
- Every day, Americans use 75 million gallons of oil-based jet fuel
- Every day, Americans use 90 billion cubic feet of natural gas
Looking forward, the U.S. Department of Energy couldn’t be clearer: oil and gas will still supply the bulk of all U.S. energy supply through 2050 – as far out as it currently models. Further, just looking through the 2020s, the International Energy Agency has the U.S. accounting for 85% of new oil and 35% of new gas globally. Already the largest oil and gas producer, we are set to become the largest exporter of these essential fuels within a few years. Those seeking expansionism and oil and gas hegemony know this of course, and they are doing all that they can to derail the age of U.S. Energy Dominance: “Intelligence: Putin is Funding the Anti-Fracking Campaign.”
Indeed, those seeking to damage the U.S. oil and gas industry with frivolous lawsuits aren’t just hurting Americans they’re doing the bidding of our adversaries.