Tackling Toxicity in the New Mexico Permian

April 23 , 2:00 pm 3:00 pm EDT

Oil production is expanding faster in New Mexico than anywhere else in the U.S., and the NM Permian Basin is at the heart of that toxic growth.

​At this webinar, we’ll be joined by individuals and groups from New Mexico who are pushing back to protect their communities from the harmful effects of the rapid Oil & Gas expansion on the New Mexico side of the Permian Basin. 

​The speakers will discuss the local air, water, and health impacts from fossil fuel operations, and the big impact New Mexico is having on our climate. Those activities include not only conventional oil drilling, but fracking, frac sand mining, heavy truck traffic, and more. 

​You’ll learn how grassroots groups in the state are standing up to the industry and political roadblocks, as well as the solutions they’re working hard to implement. 

​Speakers:

  • ​Kayley Shoup, Citizens Caring for the Future
  • ​Sarah Granado, Jal, New Mexico
  • ​Melissa Troutman, Wild Earth Guardians
  • ​Charlie Barrett, Earthworks

December 14, 2023 , 3:00 pm 4:00 pm EST

​The oil and gas industry has been running misinformation and disinformation campaigns for decades. We’ve seen how effective they’ve been at distorting public perception: Even environmental groups and allies often unintentionally adopt pro-industry framing and language. This undermines the urgency to address pollution and hinders environmental action.

​How can we avoid repeating industry misinformation?

​Join us for the kickoff of our new event series: “Say This, Not That.”

​In this series, you’ll hear from a series of experts who specialize in countering the oil & gas industry’s pervasive misinformation campaigns. You’ll learn how to identify industry talking points and how to frame messaging effectively and accurately.

​For our first session, David Gold from the Environmental Polling Consortium will guide us on how to avoid industry messaging and frame your messaging effectively.

October 26, 2023 , 6:30 pm 7:30 pm EDT

Join Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), ProtectPT, FracTracker Alliance, Environmental Health Project, and Halt the Harm Network for a live discussion of PSR’s report Fracking with “Forever Chemicals” in Pennsylvania.

What is the report on?

Based on publicly available oil and gas industry disclosures, PSR’s report details the risk of PFAS pollution from Pennsylvania’s oil and gas wells including risks from the disposal of millions of tons of liquid and solid waste associated with the wells. 

What are PFAS?

PFAS are a highly dangerous class of human-made chemicals known for their extreme toxicity, severe health effects, including cancer, and resistance to breaking down in the environment, leading to their nickname, “forever chemicals.” Private water wells in rural areas where most drilling and fracking are conducted may be at particularly high risk of contamination. Once contaminated, groundwater is particularly difficult to clean up. However, communities where oil and gas waste is taken for disposal that are located miles from drilling sites could also face risks from PFAS contamination.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) has indicated that for some types of PFAS, no amount in drinking water is safe.

October 30, 2023 , 5:00 pm 6:30 pm EDT

Join us at 5 pm for a vegetarian reception in the The Social Room of the Healey Family Student Center on Monday, October 30th followed by the film screening (81 minutes) and a panel featuring Emma Davie, an award-winning filmmaker who also teaches documentary film at Edinburgh College of Art and Julia Cohen, Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Plastic Pollution Coalition.

This is an in-person event, held at: Georgetown University – The Social Room in the Healey Family Student Center Washington, DC 20057

RSVP for Tickets. Free with RSVP.

Synopsis of “The Oil Machine“: The Oil Machine explores our economic, historical and emotional entanglement with oil by looking at the conflicting imperatives around North Sea oil. This invisible machine at the core of our economy and society now faces an uncertain future as activists and investors demand change. Is this the end of oil?

By highlighting the complexities of how oil is embedded in our society – from high finance to cheap consumer goods – The Oil Machine brings together a wide range of voices from oil company executives, economists, young activists, pension fund managers and considers how this machine can be tamed, dismantled, or repurposed.

We have five to ten years to control our oil addiction, and yet the licensing of new oil fields continues in direct contradiction with the Paris Climate Agreement. This documentary looks at how the drama of global climate action is playing out in the fight over North Sea oil.

Photo: A refinery in Houston, Texas. Still photo from ‘The Story of Plastic’ film.

As countries and communities race to address the massive health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, oil, gas, and petrochemical producers are lobbying aggressively to secure government bailouts and regulatory rollbacks from governments around the world. A new report  by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) warns that meeting the industry’s demands would waste vital and limited resources on a failing sector.

Pandemic Crisis, Systemic Decline: Why Exploiting the COVID-19 Crisis Will Not Save the Oil, Gas, and Plastic Industries exposes the array of interacting forces that have put the oil, gas, and plastic industries under sustained financial stress over the last decade and examines how the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating those weaknesses.

The report weaves together the seemingly disparate threats converting these interwoven industries — from the oil price war, to the failure of fracking to turn a profit, to single-use plastic bans — to show that they are all part of one story: the oil, gas, and plastic industry in long-term decline.

“Oil, gas, and plastic were facing profound and pervasive risks even before COVID-19 emerged. And every day, their future prospects look worse,” says CIEL President Carroll Muffett. “The pandemic has triggered a cascade of events that is accelerating the sector’s ongoing decline.”

The report examines how COVID-19 and resulting economy-wide shutdowns have collapsed demand for oil, gas, and key petrochemicals, including by shutting down the transport industries that are the lifeblood to petroleum sector revenues. It highlights the challenges that will make a return to pre-COVID-19 levels of consumption in these sectors slow, uncertain, and in some cases, unlikely. The impact of this massive supply glut on a global storage capacity that was already nearing its limits for both oil and gas is forcing companies and entire countries to cut production and freeze expansion plans. And the convergence of a market collapse with an industry facing more than $200 billion in corporate debt is pushing a growing number of companies into bankruptcy — or receivership.

“Shoveling money at the oil, gas, and petrochemical industries will not change the fundamental weaknesses they faced before this crisis began and will face moving forward,” says report co-author Steven Feit.  “These industries already faced an interlocking set of financial challenges, catalyzed by a financial sector growing increasingly skeptical of fossil fuels. Oil, gas, and petrochemical companies are already asking for bailouts, and governments should not be fooled into, at best, postponing their inevitable decline.”

Recognizing that COVID-19 is more likely to exacerbate than reverse the long-term trends confronting the sector, the report recommends that public officials, institutional investors, frontier countries, and local communities across the planet respond accordingly.

“The pandemic adds to mounting and now overwhelming evidence that this sector has reached its end game,” says Muffett.  “No amount of government intervention or taxpayer money can save these companies in the long term unless they fundamentally transform their business models. For governments to continue dumping money into these industries is throwing money down a hole at a time when every moment and every dollar needs to be used effectively for the greatest possible public good.”

Read the full report.