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US Oil Majors Seen Lagging in CO2 Risk Management

Exxon spokesman David Gardner said the company believes the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere may pose significant risk and that it has reduced greenhouse emissions at plants and refineries. "Our actions on carbon dioxide are widely misunderstood by many," he said in a telephone interview. He said cogeneration, or using waste heat and steam to produce electricity at plants, has reduced greenhouse gases by nine million metric tonnes per year. But Exxon has not set emissions limits and it does not invest in the production of wind and solar power because the company does not believe those technologies are economically viable yet, he said.

NEW YORK - US oil majors lag European companies in guarding against potential lawsuits and other risks of emitting gases linked to global warming, according to a study by a group of investors and environmentalists .

"Dozens of US businesses in various climate-vulnerable sectors ... are still largely dismissing the issue or failing to articulate clear strategies to meet the challenge," said CERES, the Boston-based group that issued the report.

Companies that disclose the amount of emissions of heat-trapping gases they produce and take steps to limit them cut their risks, including potential lawsuits from investors, CERES said.

Risks also include falling behind in future greenhouse gas markets being considered in US Congress and direct physical damage of global warming such as stronger storms similar to the ones that devastated the US Gulf last year, the group said.

CERES gave European oil majors BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total scores of 90, 79, and 62, respectively, out of a maximum score of 100.

US oil majors Exxon Mobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips scored the lowest of oil majors at 35. Chevron got a score of 57.

DuPont received an 85, the best score for a US company and the second best score... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  
NEW YORK - US oil majors lag European companies in guarding against potential lawsuits and other risks of emitting gases linked to global warming, according to a study by a group of investors and environmentalists .

"Dozens of US businesses in various climate-vulnerable sectors ... are still largely dismissing the issue or failing to articulate clear strategies to meet the challenge," said CERES, the Boston-based group that issued the report.

Companies that disclose the amount of emissions of heat-trapping gases they produce and take steps to limit them cut their risks, including potential lawsuits from investors, CERES said.

Risks also include falling behind in future greenhouse gas markets being considered in US Congress and direct physical damage of global warming such as stronger storms similar to the ones that devastated the US Gulf last year, the group said.

CERES gave European oil majors BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total scores of 90, 79, and 62, respectively, out of a maximum score of 100.

US oil majors Exxon Mobil Corp. and ConocoPhillips scored the lowest of oil majors at 35. Chevron got a score of 57.

DuPont received an 85, the best score for a US company and the second best score overall. In 2003 the chemical company hit a goal, seven years early, of reducing its greenhouse emissions by 65 percent, while saving US$2 billion through energy conservation.

The study gave companies high marks for setting greenhouse gas reduction targets and for participating in programs that trade emissions of the gases, mostly carbon dioxide and methane.

Developed countries in Europe are legally bound to trade in the greenhouse gas market the Emission Trading Scheme, set up by the Kyoto Protocol.

The United States pulled out of the pact, but some companies have volunteered to be members of an emissions market called the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX). Trading volumes on the exchange are private, so it is not known if all member companies actually trade on the Chicago exchange.

No major oil companies are CCX members.

Exxon spokesman David Gardner said the company believes the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere may pose significant risk and that it has reduced greenhouse emissions at plants and refineries.

"Our actions on carbon dioxide are widely misunderstood by many," he said in a telephone interview. He said cogeneration, or using waste heat and steam to produce electricity at plants, has reduced greenhouse gases by nine million metric tonnes per year.

But Exxon has not set emissions limits and it does not invest in the production of wind and solar power because the company does not believe those technologies are economically viable yet, he said.

Conoco did not immediately return phone calls about the study.

CERES also ranked utility and chemical companies. It gave US utility American Electric Power, a CCX member, the top score in the electric power sector of 73. Cinergy Corp., which supports plans for a US emissions reduction scheme, also scored a 73.

Both companies are trying to build state-of-the-art integrated gasification combined cycle coal plants, which cut down on carbon emissions because they are efficient.

But neither company has plans to add carbon capturing equipment, which can be added to IGCC plants more cheaply than conventional plants, until they are required to do so.


Source: http://www.planetark.com/av...

MAR 22 2006
http://www.windaction.org/posts/1811-us-oil-majors-seen-lagging-in-co2-risk-management
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