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Five major oil exploration, production, and refining companies face lawsuits in the city of New York over allegations that they contributed to global warming, according to a new report by the Orlando Sentinel.
Mayor Bill de Blasio says the suit was an effort to recover funds the city has used to defend against the effects of climate change in recent years. BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell are named in the original filings.
New York City also recently announced plans to delink its pension funds from investment in the fossil fuel sector.
The state of New York has also increased barriers to entry for fossil fuel companies. Since former governor David Paterson introduced a moratorium on fracking in New York back in 2010, the state has become a poster child for the drive towards renewable energy. Peterson’s successor, Andrew Cuomo, banned fracking indefinitely in 2014. In 2016, he blocked the construction of the Constitution pipeline that would have transported natural gas from Pennsylvania to upstate New York and New England.
Between 2010 and 2015, natural gas production in New York fell by 50 percent, resulting in job losses, a decline in royalties for landowners, and lower revenues for local governments.
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The state of New York currently receives most of its energy from gas-fired power plants, data from the Energy Information Administration shows. While petroleum-fired power plant contribution is negligible, nuclear is the second-biggest energy generating source in the state, followed by hydroelectric.
Renewables, despite the drive, remain a small part of the state’s energy mix, at 550 GWh for May this year, versus 3,274 GWh for nuclear, and 3,617 GWh for gas. Suspending the growth of gas-fired generation capacity could indeed lead to serious problems with energy supply in New York and New England.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…