Pittsburgh’s extreme embrace of coal, oil, and gas lobbyists

A new report from F Minus and LittleSis finds that Pittsburgh has the most “extreme embrace” of fossil fuel lobbyists of any big American city and that the climate goals of many Pittsburgh institutions are being undermined by their own lobbyists, many of whom also work for coal, oil, and gas interests. The two groups called on the City of Pittsburgh, the School District of Pittsburgh, the University of Pittsburgh, and other leading institutions to cut ties with them and adopt policies against working with such lobbyists in the future.

This Upstream report was made to provide unbiased information and analysis to help venue managers, food concessionaires, and other industry leaders identify the most environmentally friendly options for beverages at music festivals, sports, and other forms of live entertainment. Learn why plastic-free reusable containers are the best option, and how reuse systems can be implemented to benefit people and the planet.

Evidence indicates that the production of plastics is subsidized, deepening the plastic pollution crisis. Many of these
subsidies come through its main feedstock: fossil fuels. Currently, the price of plastics does not fully capture any externalities that occur across the life cycle. Direct subsidies to the production of plastic precursors (understood as the
monomers, polymers, chemical additives, and processing agents used in their production) or indirect subsidies (in the
form of cheaper oil and gas feedstocks) exacerbate the crisis by artificially reducing the cost of plastics, thus increasing
the use and production of plastics.

This policy brief by CIEL (Center for Environmental Law) sheds some light during UN Plastics Treaty negotiations.

F Minus opens a new front in the climate fight: a call for divestment from fossil fuel lobbyists.

Launched in July 2023, F Minus is using its revolutionary database of state-level lobbyists for upstream and midstream oil, gas, and coal interests to demonstrate the extent to which these lobbyists are also representing people, schools, communities, and businesses being harmed by the climate crisis.

The fossil fuel industry is rapidly losing the social license needed to build new projects as the severity of the climate crisis becomes increasingly clear and the public embraces the energy transition. Nevertheless, the fossil fuel industry remains firmly embedded in state capitols because of positive or merely neutral public opinion about its lobbyists, more than 1,500 of whom also represent non-fossil fuel companies, schools, nonprofits, and other organizations whose activities are perceived as beneficial. F Minus is disrupting this dynamic and calling on people to fire their fossil fuel lobbyists.

GAIA’s flagship climate report (released October 4, 2022) provides the most current, comprehensive research on how zero waste is an essential climate solution. Through the publication of this report alongside supplementary communications and advocacy materials, GAIA aims to support member-driven zero waste campaigns in your communities to give decisionmakers clear and decisive information on why they should invest in zero waste as a way to reduce climate emissions and build a just transition to a more climate-resilient future, providing a host of social, environmental, and economic benefits. 

The report contains four parts: 

  • Zero waste and climate mitigation: How zero waste is a critical strategy to hit GHG reduction targets 
  • Zero waste and climate adaptation: How zero waste helps cities become more resilient in the face of accelerating climate disasters
  • Co-benefits: How zero waste can bring about a just transition to more and better green jobs, reduce poverty, strengthen local economies and more
  • Case studies: A calculation of how many GHG emissions savings cities around the world could achieve if they were to adopt a slate of zero waste strategies

As the EU faces a looming gas shortage, EU countries are looking to consumers to shoulder the brunt of reductions and are pursuing deals to secure new fossil fuel supplies. At the same time, policymakers are leaving the plastics and petrochemicals sector untouched. A new report from Break Free From Plastic and the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) explores the European market for plastics and petrochemicals, arguing that the EU can advance energy security by making cuts to these energy-intensive industries.

Led by Break Free From Plastic & CIEL, written by Amadeo Ghiotto and Delphine Lévi Alvarès. Published in September 2022