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'The Game Is Up': Report Says Asset Sales and Debt-Driven Dividends Show Fossil Fuel Industry Cannot Be Saved

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/07/09/game-report-says-asset-sales-and-debt-driven-dividends-show-fossil-fuel-industry

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Big taxpayer-funded bailout coming in 3, 2, 1…

Hey, that’s modern capitalism and the miracle of free markets for you.

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There are some critical matters not acknowledged here. First, a key reason the oil and gas industries are in such trouble is that fracking ramped up in the US so fast it created a glut on the market. And this is a temporary situation, obviously. Secondly, until we acknowledge the need to sharply reduce consumption, change our driving/working/spending/commuting patterns, etc, we “need” huge amounts of energy, and the notion that “it’ll come from renewables instead” is magical thinking–not because renewables can’t supply a reasonable amount of energy but because they would need to be built–millions of solar panels, tens of thousands of windmills, and batteries, and insulation, etc. All that takes a great deal of energy, and that energy has to come from fossil fuels since there are not enough windmills and solar panels to supply current needs let alone ALSO power the buildout of a huge number of additional panels, windmill parts, etc. You can’t jut wave a magic wand and have these things pop into existence. WE SHOULD HAVE DONE THIS THIRTY YEARS AGO instead of arguing about whether climate change was real. Now, the extra burning of fossil fuels to power the buildout, if we imagine we are going to replace the current wasteful level of consumption, would create an emissions spike sufficient to to melt the cryosphere and shoot us right into 3 or 4 degrees of warming.

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Despite Trump and the organized crime syndicate disguised as the GOP claiming that regulations, environmentalists and all of their other contrived boogeymen are putting the coal industry out of business, the reality is that fracking is more than 90% of the decline of coal.

Until FDR’s New Deal regulations and programs (that were dismantled during the past four decades) are restored and enhanced to address 21st century conditions, “asset sales and debt-driven buybacks and dividends” will never abate in the energy industry or any other industry. Corporations are required by law to act in the best interests of shareholders or be sued by those shareholders. Altruistic corporate actions have therefore never occurred and “self enforcement” is the myth of the century. Well enforced regulations are the only language corporations understand.

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Hi GuiIdF12S;
This is reaIIy great news as now___America can stop attacking aII these MiddeI Eastern nations and steaming their oil, and certainly stop destroying Venezuela-----and by the way, UN—why won’t the UK give Venezuela’s goId back? Why are you UN —so UNabIe to stop this constant cheating?

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That is why we need to be blunt about REDUCING OVERALL ENERGY DEMAND.

But it’s not just about consumer uses like driving and shopping, although these are major parts of the overall picture. But we should aim first to END WAR. The single institution with the largest energy footprint in the entire global economy is the Pentagon, and it’s 100% waste.

And before enforcing slashes to basic consumption like commuting to work, we should first slash frivolous consumption like “Major League” sports. We need to operate on an emergency footing, from now forward, and be realistic about what anyone actually “needs” to live.

Also consumer activities like shopping should not be the focus of enforced slashes in demand, but the enforcement should come at the production end, for example shutting down entire markets of cheap plastic crap that has no essential purpose.

Etc!

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Fossil Fuel Industry cannot be saved. Though they will try to make sure the human species goes down with them.

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The older ones might try to ride it out. Middle-agers will be split, and the younger will be much greener by necessity.
It could be exciting and even profitable to go green for a living.

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1989 James E. Hansen of the Goddard Space Laboratory in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Agency (NASA) in testimony before the United States Senate announced that on the basis of satellite data, the polar ice cap was shrinking due to human activity. There was no response to that
There followed a long list of reports, panels and pontifications. If we don’t drastically cut the energy going into war making, you can kiss the planet goodbye

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Yes wars need to stop since military is the biggest consumer and polluter and the other premier imperative change is food production which needs to become sustainable and not chemical and fossil fuel based. Food production should be local. After those two changes the frivolous can be addressed.

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I’d remembered the luck we’d had, just adding basalt finings greensand marl & Heinz’s high potash incinerator ash to a community garden (checking for toxins, since our industrial waste products poison most rustbelt hardscrabble). The full reason, none of Carter’s promotion of AGW mitigation as economic boon, since US academia and SMALL business developed most alternative/ renewable energy, regenerative agriculture and energy efficiency WAS our duopoly being a wholly owned leisure-time subsidiary of our OIL-igarchy?

~https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jul/08/spreading-rock-dust-on-fields-could-remove-vast-amounts-of-co2-from-air

~https://paydayreport.com/strikeforblacklives-in-25-cities-on-july-20th-16000-meatpacker-got-covid-teachers-strike-looking-more-likely

~https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2020/07/let-the-predation-begin-cfpb-rolls-back-obama-era-payday-loan-protections.html

~https://thegrayzone.com/2020/07/08/bill-gates-global-health-policy

~https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2020/07/09/as-long-as-mass-media-propaganda-exists-democracy-is-a-sham/

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On ending war, I totally agree. In fact, it’s more than 100% waste since it’s an activity that’s destructive. Ending it would release enormous amounts of not only money and energy but also materials and well-trained people.
But I disagree about sports versus commuting. Sports are important to some people, and don’t use a huge amount of resources. Commuting is travel that huge numbers of people do twice a day, which should be eliminated by redesigning our cities and our economies so most people can get between their homes and work places on foot, by bike, by public transportation–or, the other change we need is to allow the use of what I call microcars–motorized bikes and motorbikes and tiny cars that have just enough engine to get you up hills, and have a cover for rain protection, probably electric. They don’t NEED to go fast. But they–and the pedestrians and bikes–would not be safe on roads with two ton behemoths roaring along at high speed, so we would need to ban those.

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OMG!! YES!! I rarely see anyone lay out this reality on this site… ssssooo true… so, my thing is … IF we want renewable power… we get rid of MOST of our frivolous culture… no more Disney, no more sports stadiums… ETC ETC… because, why should we PUSH EXTRACTION… of resources just to make frivolous and un necessary equipment … the only things we should want/need electricity for would be water treatment… hospitals… there might be a few other uses… but that is it… anyone can go out and play ball…for fun, in their yard, or nearby park… .no living through the athletes… 1500 privates jets flying to a super bowl is ridiculous… insane… ( with balls that already exist, cause, we would not be using fossil fuels to make any more…)…

Batteries, batteries everywhere, batteries here, batteries there, batteries up there, batteries down there, we have batteries, who needs a battery, no one goes without a battery cause they are everywhere, no worries, to run out of batteries, can’t hide them, can’t loose them, we will never run out of batteries, leaky ones, runny ones, loose ones, in the woods, in the landfill, under the porch, in the garages, on the road side, we can find them anywhere, any time, just pick one up on the side of the road, cause, they made a lot for all the stuff to run on batteries.

Same reason they won’t release Julian Assange; the US probably told them not to.

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Oh I imagine it would be, which is why their refusal to do so for decades is all the more infuriating.

Hi wingsofadove:

OMG-----aIthough that Boris of the UK man seems Iike a real creepy person. StiII, I guess that the old saying that," There is no honor among thieves," is a truism of the worId. : (
But when kids see their own governments screwing over the people of other nations----I guess that’s how those MAGA people can truIy believe that America and Americans are the greatest--------sadIy "greatest THREAT to the worId ,"is probably more real . : (

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Why is there fiduciary responsibility to corporate shareholders, but not to taxpayers?

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Excellent point. Whoever are the elected representatives, they oversee and direct the USA on behalf of the taxpayers (not just the taxpayers but all the citizens) and should always be held to the highest standards of accountability to always place the interests of the citizens first and foremost in every decision they make, every law and policy they enact.