Getting off fossils sooner rather than later saves money

Jan-Feb 2021: ExxonMobil announced a $19.3 billion write-down this week – reducing the value of the assets on its books – a big hit to a company reeling from depressed oil and gas prices and a rapidly changing global energy market. The fossil fuel giant, however, may be understating the financial damage to its assets, according to a former ExxonMobil employee turned whistleblower, Franklin Bennett. Bennett and his team of advisors argue that instead, the company has been overvaluing its U.S. oil and gas assets by as much as $56 billion, as of year-end 2019. Nick Cunningham has the scoop.

Meanwhile over in Europe, France has been found guilty of climate inaction in what campaigners have dubbed “the case of the century”. This week the Paris administrative court concluded France has failed to do enough to meet its own commitments on the climate crisis and is legally responsible for the ensuing ecological damage. Read more here.

Finally, looking back at the impact of lifting the 40-year-old oil export ban in 2015, it appears the move has helped hasten the financial demise of the U.S. oil industry — while also increasing the industry’s huge contribution to climate change. And in many ways, the U.S. oil and gas industry’s demise is self-inflicted. Justin Mikulka has the analysis.

Climate Action In Time Saves $3.5 Trillion Down The Line — Report: Promptly implementing the aggressive actions necessary to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas pollution to net-zero by 2050 would save the U.S. at least $3.5 trillion compared to the cost of waiting until 2030 to start achieving that goal, a report published Wednesday by Energy Innovation found. The savings, the authors of the report emphasize, only consider the spending required to slash U.S. emissions and thus do not include the savings that would be incurred by the public health benefits of reducing fossil fuel extraction and combustion or the avoided costs associated with extreme weather which delayed climate action could worsen. “To meet climate goals, it is imperative to start climate action today,” Megan Mahajan, one of the co-authors of the report, told Earther. “In particular, it is urgent to quickly transition to electric vehicles and building components, because polluting equipment sold today will last for decades.” (Earther, Axios, Quartz)

Canada lists Proud Boys as a terrorist group, alongside ISIS and al-Qaeda (NPR, Washington Post $),

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Washington state bill would require all new cars be electric by 2030

BY JOSEPH CHOI – 02/03/21 12:20 PM EST 26849

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Washington state bill would require all new cars be electric by 2030

© Greg Nash

Washington state may soon push to end the sale of diesel-fueled cars by the year 2030 after a bill was introduced in the state legislature that would require all cars sold be electric.

The bill, sponsored by more than two dozen Democrats, was introduced in both legislative chambers in January. The state House Transportation Committee held its first hearing on the bill Monday.

ABC News reports that Washington legislators who support the bill said it would speed up the transition from gas-powered vehicles as well as building the infrastructure to support electric vehicles.

Coltura, an environmental nonprofit that helped in drafting the bill, states that 99 percent of vehicles in Washington are gas-powered and the bill would affect over 10 million vehicles in the following 30 years.

Democratic state Rep. Nicole Macri said in a statement, “Clean Cars 2030 will ensure that our policy goals and actions move us rapidly toward a 100 percent clean energy environment and keep pace with what is now a global trend toward vehicle electrification.”

Hydrogen-powered cars, emergency vehicles and vehicles that weigh more than 10,000 pounds would not be affected by the bill, ABC News reports.

“Without the certainty of a close, attainable date, we are likely to approach the transition off gasoline in an unnecessarily slow and haphazard manner, and cause vast amounts of unnecessary carbon release in the process,” Matthew Metz, co-director of Coltura, told the outlet.

Other U.S. states such as California and Massachusetts have recently committed to phasing out diesel-fueled cars in the near future. Both states have released plans to have 100 percent of cars sold produce zero emissions by the year 2035.

In November, the U.K. moved up its deadline to ban the sale of diesel cars by the year 2030.

Automobile manufacturing giant General Motors announced in January that it would seek to shift production to an all-electric light duty fleet by 2035 as part of its goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2040.TAGS ELECTRIC VEHICLEENVIRONMENTAL TECHNOLOGYWASHINGTON