Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 00:00 • Kyla Mandel
Theresa May

From a Middle Eastern oil magnate to Heathrow and Gatwick, the three main parties have seen a mix of donations come in since Brexit last summer.

The Conservative Party has received significantly more money from individuals and companies in the fossil fuel industry compared to the Labour Party and the Lib Dems, according to the latest data on the electoral register analysed by DeSmog UK.

This news comes after the Conservatives’ election manifesto pledges a unique commitment to increase support for the oil and gas industry should they win in June.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 - 04:16 • Mat Hope
Chancellor Philip Hammond

The government has announced more financial help for the North Sea oil and gas industry.

Chancellor Philip Hammond today announced plans to establish a panel of experts to decide on the best way to squeeze every last drop out of the region’s oil fields in his first and last Spring budget.

The additional measures will go on top of around £2.3 billion the industry received in subsidies from the government over the past three years.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 - 00:00 • Christine Ottery
An oil worker

Oil giant BP is one of the corporate partners sponsoring this year’s International Women’s Day on 8 March under the slogan “Be Bold for Change”.

In a promotional video for the day, BP says that being “bold for change” at its firm means “having the courage to change perceptions and the knowledge and expertise to change ideas. It’s having the shared dream of changing communities” – cue lots of shots of cute children from various ethnic backgrounds.

Just on the face of it this is already problematic. It’s all well and good for BP and a host of other companies to be addressing their gender balance issues – BP says it wants to ensure a quarter of its group leaders are women by 2020.

But BP’s use of the International Women’s day slogan gives it a whole new slant in the context of the impacts of climate change, transport emissions, and BP’s industrial activities around the world.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 - 00:00 • Guest
Manchester civil justice centre

By Ruth Hayhurst, at Drill or Drop.

A High Court judge has granted an injunction outlawing public access to Cuadrilla’s shale gas site at Preston New Road, near Blackpool.

But his honour Philip Raynor QC refused the company’s application to exclude from the injunction a protest area on land about 175m from the site entrance.

He said the area, measuring 25m by 25m, was too small to be reasonable and could be a source of “increased anger” if protest was limited to it.

Thursday, March 2, 2017 - 15:15 • Zach Roberts
James Delingpole, Tony Heller, and Steve Milloy sit on a panel at CPAC 2017

The 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), an annual rally of conservative officials and political activists, was set to be a big one — the first time a first-year sitting president would have attended since Ronald Reagan. While President Trump canceled late in 2016, enthusiasm for the president still filled its halls, and so did a number of his White House, Cabinet, and transition team members — including at least one previously unannounced member of the EPA transition team. 

Joining the CPAC lineup was the usual cast of climate science deniers who branded climate change as “fake news,” scientists and environmental advocates as “some of the worst people in the world,” and polluted rivers catching fire in the pre-EPA era as “the price of industrialization.” 

Thursday, March 2, 2017 - 00:00 • Kyla Mandel
Dakota Access Pipeline – Oceti Sakowin

The Green Party has issued a letter to the chief executives of all UK banks currently financing the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline asking them to “immediately suspend all credit lines”.

Despite previous calls for British institutions to divest from the polluting project, financial data reveals Barclays and HSBC continue to bankroll the companies constructing the pipeline.

Signed by party co-leaders Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley and four other party members, the Green Party letter calls on Barclays and HSBC to stop funding the U.S. pipeline project due to its impact on the climate and indigenous communities.

Calling the pipeline a “barrier to climate safety,” they write: “The Dakota Access Pipeline is a major fossil fuel infrastructure project, and thus represents exactly the kind of project that should no longer receive the support of those with a serious commitment to tackling the climate crisis.”

Wednesday, March 1, 2017 - 04:33 • Guest
Smog over London

The UK government hates to be held accountable in court when it breaks environmental laws like those on air quality. So it has created new rules – coming into force this week – that expose environmental litigants to unlimited financial liabilities, writes Oliver Tickell of The Ecologist. Now three leading NGOs have gone to the High Court to argue that the rules themselves are in breach the UK's international obligations.

New rules coming into force today will make it virtually impossible to bring a public interest case - like ClientEarth's air pollution challenge - to protect the environment.

The new rules weaken financial protection for people or organisations bringing a case against the government, meaning they risk having to pay the government's full, unlimited legal costs in return for going to court to protect the environment.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - 00:22 • Mat Hope
A diagram of the North Sea oil network with Big Oil and Big Four companies

Big Oil companies have made billions from exploiting the North Sea’s oil and gas resources. But as it gets harder to squeeze a profit out of the drying fields, they are increasingly asking the taxpayer to fund their polluting activities, all while making billions for their shareholders.

Since 2015, the Treasury has given the industry tax breaks worth £2.3 billion. This is despite BP, Shell and Total making after tax profits of $10 billion in 2016 alone.

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