Thursday, September 18, 2014

Are spiders getting bigger? Warm summer has caused arachnids to grow larger, say experts

Amusing.  On several occasions Warmists have claimed that warming will make people and animals SHRINK in size

Enjoyed the summer? You’re not alone: Experts have warned that homes may be set for an invasion of larger than normal spiders who have feasted on an abundance of prey in the last few months.

That’s because this year the warm summer has allowed certain spiders to eat more than usual and grow to their upper limits.

And it could mean we’ll see more and more large spiders in our homes in the coming months.

The mild summer has meant the eight-legged creatures have had plenty to eat and very few have perished.

With temperatures set to fall, experts from Sydney University have said the larger-than-usual house spiders will be heading indoors in the coming weeks to find a mate.

Professor Adam Hart of the University of Gloucestershire agreed with their predication and said: ‘This year has been seemingly a good one for the invertebrates which spiders feed on, and it’s quite mild out there.’

Spiders are growing far larger in the city than in rural environments, researchers have said.

They found that rather than thriving in areas with lots of vegetation, golden orb weaver spiders living in urban areas of Sydney, Australia, were larger and had more babies.

The say cities have an abundance of food and city lights could be to blame.

'City-dwelling orb-weaving spiders grow larger and could produce more offspring than their country cousins our research shows,' said Elizabeth Lowe of the University of Sydney, who led the research.

This study shows invertebrates are sensitive to urbanisation but that not all species are negatively affected by living in cities.

Both sexes stay in their webs until the autumn when the males become nomadic and search for females.

Mr Lawrence Bee of the British Arachnological Society tells MailOnline that people often notice larger spiders this year as the cold weather drives them inside, with males hunting for females.

But he agrees that the particularly mild summer we’ve had, not too hot and not too cold, will have given spiders access to more prey.

But Professor Hart said people have nothing to fear from big creepy crawlies because spiders are the a free pest control service.


Report: Green Lobbyists Kept ‘Revolving Door’ Spinning at EPA

Green lobbyists kept the “revolving door” at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) spinning despite President Obama’s assurances to the nation that he slammed it shut on his first day in office, according to an interim report released Monday by the Energy and Environmental Legal Institute (E&E Legal).

“On my first day in office, we closed the revolving door between lobbying firms and the government so that no one in my administration would make decisions based on the interests of former or future employers,” Obama said in his weekly address on Jan. 23, 2010.

But based on EPA emails obtained under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by E&E Legal and the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), “the truth, as this report documents, is quite different,” author Christopher Horner wrote.

“EPA’s connection with green pressure groups is a classic case of a ‘revolving door’,” Horner stated.  “It is noteworthy that every member of the EPA’s senior leadership who has not made his or her career in the EPA or state level environmental agencies has a history of employment with green pressure groups,” the report noted. Likewise, “outgoing officials frequently find themselves working for these same green pressure groups when they leave the EPA.”

Calling EPA “among the most closed, ideological and politicized organizations in government,” the report found that instead of keeping environmental lobbyists at arms’ length, as Obama had promised, EPA officials fostered a climate of “improper influence and collusion in pursuit of a shared and admittedly ideological agenda.”

“The EPA and various green groups do research for one another, coordinate messages with one another, support one another’s efforts and coordinate their efforts toward a shared goal, as if the EPA and outside green groups were one and the same,” Horner noted in the report.

Such “unprecedented” collaboration between green lobbyists and EPA officials runs “contrary to Executive Order 12674,” which states that “employees shall act impartially and not give preferential treatment to any private organization or individual.”

“Contrary to candidate Obama’s promise to run the ‘most transparent administration in history,’ free of conflicts of interest, documents reveal that various environmentalist pressure groups with extreme agendas have unprecedented access to and influence upon their former colleagues and other ideological allies who are now EPA officials. EPA serves as an extension of these groups and neither EPA nor the groups recognize any distinction between them,” the report added.

The alleged collusion ranged from “working together to orchestrate public hearings” to “jointly target[ing] individual power plants to block under any new EPA standards to the Obama administration's internally declared "war on coal.”

EPA officials also “repeatedly gave green groups a leg up in submitting comments for the administrative record… before the record was open for comments to the general public,” the report stated.

And while green lobbyists were welcomed at the EPA to help write new regulations, private parties who would be most affected by the rules were told to wait until they were finished.

E&E Legal found that political appointees at EPA are “almost exclusively…environmental activists from anti-energy ‘green’ pressure groups” such as the Sierra Club and the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) who “want coal eliminated entirely, and like-minded career bureaucrats."

Emails between Sierra Club lobbyist John Coequyt and Michael Goo, former head of EPA’s Office of Policy and former staff member at NRDC, showed they arranged to meet at a Marriott Hotel near EPA headquarters in Washington, presumably to avoid Coequyt having to sign the agency’s visitor log, the report noted.

Georgetown Law Professor Lisa Heinzerling -  the lead counsel in Massachusetts v. EPA, a 2007 landmark case in which the U.S. Supreme Court allowed, but did not require, EPA to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant – was “brought to the Obama EPA immediately, clearly for the purpose of orchestrating mandatory regulation of CO2, which she just as quickly set about to do,” Horner pointed out.

Heinzerling served as the EPA’s senior climate policy counsel and associate administrator of the Office of Policy from January 2009 to December 2010. She “was given the lead role in formally obtaining the outcome that defined her career – reversing EPA’s interpretation of the Clean Air Act and Massachusetts v. EPA, and otherwise crafting the ‘global warming’ agenda.”

“A more obvious appearance of conflict is hardly imaginable,” Horner pointed out.

The emails also showed that “EPA officials, and particularly senior Obama appointees driving the regulatory agenda, have minds that are unalterably made up on important regulatory issues… they had worked on as activists much of their lives…with a predetermined goal that would not be shaken by facts, economics, the effect on the American public, or any other concern,” he added.

“Under the law, this makes them unfit to participate in regulations on these topics.”


DA's abuse of discretion should be condemned, not cheered

PROSECUTORS ROUTINELY reduce criminal charges or waive them altogether. They agree to plea bargains. They settle misdemeanor cases in exchange for compensation to the victim. Under our legal system, the government's prosecuting attorneys have extraordinary leeway in deciding whom to prosecute, and for which offenses, and what punishment to seek.

Before a crowd outside the courthouse, District Attorney Sam Sutter waves a manifesto published in Rolling Stone by a well-known climate alarmist, Bill McKibben. "You know where my heart is," the DA declared.

So when Sam Sutter, the district attorney for Bristol County, announced last week that he would drop the criminal charges pending against two global-warming activists for illegally blocking a shipment of coal to a power plant in Somerset, Mass., he was exercising prosecutorial discretion — something DAs do every day.

Clearly, that's not why it made news. Nor is it why Sutter is being hailed — wrongly — as a hero on the environmental left.

Sutter made his announcement moments before Jay O'Hara and Ken Ward were to go on trial for their stunt in Somerset, for which they faced charges that included conspiracy to commit a crime, disorderly conduct, and negligent operation of a motor vessel. Conviction could have meant up to nine months' imprisonment. The defendants didn't deny their actions; they said they were willing to go to jail in order to protest the burning of coal and what they regard as the government's "terrible" climate policies.

"If I was convicted by a jury of my peers," O'Hara said in a radio interview, "I was ready and prepared to face the consequences of my action, knowing that that … is the sort of commitment that changes hearts when people see other people put their lives on the line for something that really matters." The defendants had planned to invoke a so-called "necessity" defense, arguing that though they broke the law when they blocked the shipping channel, they did so to prevent a greater harm — i.e., climate change.

But instead of proceeding to a jury trial, Sutter dropped the charges at the last minute. O'Hara and Ward were merely required to pay $4,000 as civil restitution to the town of Somerset for its costs.

Reasonable people can debate whether the protesters' blockade was a noble gesture of civil disobedience or merely obnoxious grandstanding, and whether their "coal is stupid" campaign reflects scientific thinking or crackpot hysteria. Did it make more sense to let them off with a monetary payment, rather than indulging them in what they hoped to turn into a high-profile trial of government policy and the morality of using fossil fuels? On that too there could be room for debate.

But Sutter went way beyond the ethical bounds of prosecutorial discretion. He announced, in a manner calculated to attract maximum publicity, that he was letting O'Hara and Ward off the hook because he agrees with their political views.

"Climate change is one of the gravest crises our planet has ever faced," Sutter declaimed to a cheering crowd outside Fall River District Court. "In my humble opinion, the political leadership on this issue has been sorely lacking…. This symbolizes our commitment, at the Bristol County district attorney's office, to take a leadership role on this issue."

And to be sure no one missed the nakedly ideological character of his action, Sutter said he would "certainly" take part in a global-warming protest march planned for Sept. 21 in New York City. He held aloft a manifesto published in Rolling Stone by a well-known climate alarmist, Bill McKibben. "How do you like that?" Sutter called to the crowd. "So you know where my heart is."

The DA's behavior was worse than disgraceful, it was dangerous. It was an egregious abuse of his authority as a prosecutor: not that he dropped the charges against two lawbreaking protesters, but that he did so because he wants to promote their controversial cause — and to promote his own "leadership" on the issue.

Climate activists Jay O'Hara and Ken Ward aboard the vessel they used to block the delivery of 40,000 tons of coal to a power plant in Somerset, Mass.

Sutter isn't the first DA to misuse his prosecutorial discretion because he sympathizes with a criminal's outlook. "During the civil rights era," notes the Southern Poverty Law Center, "white prosecutors in Southern towns notoriously refused to bring charges against whites for racially based hate crimes against African Americans — even when the evidence in favor of prosecution was overwhelming."

It may be tempting for those who see climate change as a crisis to applaud Sutter's overtly political decision. Would they feel the same way about an anti-abortion DA who refused to prosecute demonstrators for blockading a Planned Parenthood clinic? Would they cheer a prosecutor whose antipathy to Islam led him to drop the charges against trespassers preventing construction of a mosque, and then to trumpet his "leadership" in doing so?

Prosecutors aren't elected to make public policy — not on fossil fuels, or civil rights, or abortion, or anything else. Their job is to enforce the law, not to enact it. What Sutter did was contemptible, not commendable, and no one should have been cheering.


Attack of the NGOs

Who are these None governmental Organizations (NGOs) shock troops and how do they operate? It's a vast matrix composed of both the private NGO groups and representatives of the UN and representatives of a large number of US federal agencies - all working together behind the scenes, quietly making policy for the rest of us. And when I attempt to expose them, they vehemently deny there is any collusion - "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain." Sorry, the truth is - this is how it works. No vote. No public input. Just the enforcement of an agenda through the willing participation of private groups and government officials who forgot their purpose was to represent, not dictate to us. The NGOs are the storm troopers necessary to make it all happen.

One rarely hears of it. Few elected officials raise an eyebrow. The media makes no mention of it. But power is slowly slipping away from our elected representatives. In much the same way Mao Tse tung had his Red Guards, so the UN has its NGOs. They may well be your masters of tomorrow, and you don't even know who or what they are.

There are, in fact, two parallel, complimentary forces at work in the world, working together to advance the global Sustainable Development agenda, ultimately leading toward UN global governance. Those two forces are the UN itself and non-governmental organizations (NGOs.)

Beginning with the United Nations, the infrastructure pushing the Sustainable Development agenda is a vast, international matrix. At the top of the heap is the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP).

Created in 1973 by the UN General Assembly, the UNEP is the catalyst through which the global environmental agenda is implemented. Virtually all of the international environmental programs and policy changes that have occurred globally in the past three decades are the result of UNEP efforts.
But the UNEP doesn't operate on its own. Influencing it and helping to write policy are thousands of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These are private groups which seek to implement a specific political agenda. Through the UN infrastructure, particularly through the UNEP, they have great power.

The phrase "non-governmental organization" came into use with the establishment of the United Nations Organization in 1945 with provisions in Article 71 of Chapter 10 of the United Nations Charter. The term describes a consultative role for organizations that are neither government nor member states of the UN.

NGOs are not just any private group hoping to influence policy. True NGOs are officially sanctioned by the United Nations. Such status was created by UN Resolution 1296 in 1948, giving NGOs official "Consultative" status to the UN. That means they can not only sit in on international meetings, but can actively participate in creating policy, right along side government representatives.

There are numerous classifications of NGO's. The two most common are "Operational" and "Advocacy." Operational NGOs are involved with designing and implementing specific projects such as feeding the hungry or organizing relief projects. These groups can be religious or secular. They can be community-based, national or international. The International Red Cross falls under the category of an operational NGO.

Advocacy NGOs are promoting a specific political agenda. They lobby government bodies, use the news media and organize activist-oriented events, all designed to raise awareness and apply pressure to promote their causes which include environmental issues, human rights, poverty, education, children, drinking water, and population control - to name a few. Amnesty International is the largest human rights advocacy NGO in the world. Organized globally, it has more than 1.8 million members, supporters and subscribers in over 150 countries.

Today these NGOs have power nearly equal to member nations when it comes to writing U.N. policy. Just as civil service bureaucrats provide the infrastructure for government operation, so to do NGOs provide such infrastructure for the U.N. In fact, most U.N. policy is first debated and then written by the NGOs and presented to national government officials at international meetings for approval and ratification. It is through this process that the individual political agendas of the NGO groups enter the international political arena.

The policies sometimes come in the form of international treaties or simply as policy guidelines. Once the documents are presented to and accepted by representatives of member states and world leaders, obscure political agendas of private organizations suddenly become international policy, and are then adopted as national and local laws by U.N. member states. Through this very system, Sustainable Development has grown from a collection of ideas and wish lists of a wide variety of private organizations to become the most widely implemented tool in the U.N.'s quest for global governance.

The three most powerful organizations influencing UNEP policy are three international NGOs. They are the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the International Union for Conservation and Nature (IUCN). These three groups provide the philosophy, objectives and methodology for the international environmental agenda through a series of official reports and studies such as: World Conservation Strategy, published in 1980 by all three groups; Global Biodiversity Strategy, published in 1992; and Global Biodiversity Assessment, published in 1996.

These groups not only influence UNEP's agenda, they also influence a staggering array of international and national NGOs around the world. Jay Hair, former head of the National Wildlife Federation, one of the U.S.'s largest environmental organizations, was also the president of the IUCN. Hair later turned up as co-chairman of the Presidents Council on Sustainable Development.

The WWF maintains a network of national chapters around the world, which influence, if not dominate, NGO activities at the national level. It is at the national level where NGOs agitate and lobby national governments to implement the policies that the IUCN, WWF and WRI get written into the documents that are advanced by the UNEP. In this manner, the world grows ever closer to global governance.

Other than treaties, how does UNEP policy become U.S. policy? Specifically, the IUCN has an incredible mix of U.S. government agencies along with major U.S. NGOs as members. Federal agencies include the Department of State, Department of Interior, Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Park Service (NPS) the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Fish and Wildlife service. These agencies send representatives to all meetings of the UNEP.

Also attending those meetings as active members are NGO representatives. These include activist groups such as the Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, National Wildlife Federation, Zero Population growth, Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, the National Education Association, and hundreds more. These groups all have specific political agendas they desire to become law. Through their official contact with government agencies working side-by-side with the UNEP, their political wish lists become official government policy.

How can this be, you ask? How can private organizations control policy and share equal power to elected officials? Here's how it works.

When the dust settled over the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, five major documents were forced into international policy that will change forever how national policy is made. More importantly, the Rio Summit produced the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). UNCED outlined a new procedure for shaping policy. The procedure has no name, nor is it dictatorial. It is perhaps best described as "controlled consensus" or "affirmative acquiescence."

Put in simple street language, the procedure really amounts to a collection of NGOs, bureaucrats and government officials, all working together toward a predetermined outcome. They have met together in meetings, written policy statements based on international agreements, which they helped to create and now they are about to impose laws and regulations that will have dire effects on people's lives and national economies. Yet, with barely a twinge of conscience they move forward with the policy, saying nothing. No one objects. It's understood. Everyone goes along. For this is a barbaric procedure that insures their desired outcome without the ugliness of bloodshed, or even debate. It is the procedure used to advance the radical, global environmental agenda.

The UNCED procedure utilizes four elements of power: international government (UN); national governments; non-governmental organizations, and philanthropic institutions.

The NGOs are the key to the process. They create policy ideas from their own private agendas. The policy idea is then adopted by one or more U.N. organizations for consideration at a regional conference. Each conference is preceded by an NGO forum designed specifically to bring NGO activists into the debate. There they are fully briefed on the policy and then trained to prepare papers and lobby and influence the official delegates of the conference. In this way, the NGOs control the debate and assure the policy is adopted.

The ultimate goal of the conference is to produce a "Convention," which is a legally- drawn policy statement on specific issues. Once the "Convention" is adopted by the delegates, it is sent to the national governments for official ratification. Once that is done, the new policy becomes international law.

Then the real work begins. Compliance must be assured. Again, the NGOs come into the picture. They are responsible for pressuring Congress to write national laws in order to comply with the treaty. One trick used to assure compliance is to write into the laws the concept of third-party lawsuits.

NGOs now regularly sue the government and private citizens to force policy. They have their legal fees and even damage awards paid to them out of the government treasury. Through a coordinated process, hundreds of NGOs are at work in Congress, in every state government and in every local community, advancing some component of the global environmental agenda.

However, the United States Constitution's Tenth Amendment bars the Federal Government from writing laws that dictate local policy. To by pass this roadblock, NGOs encourage Congress to include special grants to help states and communities to fund the new policy, should they want to "voluntarily" comply.

Should a community or state refuse to participate "voluntarily," local chapters of the NGOs are trained to go into action. They begin to pressure city councils or county commissioners to accept the grants and implement the policy. Should they meet resistance, they begin to issue news releases telling the community their elected officials are losing millions of dollars for the community. The pressure continues until the grant is finally taken and the policy becomes local law. This practice has resulted in the NGOs gaining incredible power on the local level. Today, a great number of communities are actually run by NGO members as city and county governments are staffed by NGO members. They serve on local unelected boards and regional councils that the NGOs helped to create. Local representative government is slowly relinquishing its power to the NGOs.

Americans must begin to understand that the debate over environmental issues have very little to do with clean water and air and much more to do with the establishment of power. NGOs are gaining it, locally elected officials are losing it as the structure of American government changes to accommodate the private agendas of NGOs.


New EPA killer coolant regs a crony boon to DuPont

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced plans to speed up the process of phasing out and banning the cooling agent used in most cars and refrigerators (HFC-134a).

This isn’t the first of such moves from the EPA. In 1978, the federal environmental agency began banning the use of Freon in the U.S. because the coolant allegedly caused damage to the ozone layer of the atmosphere, in favor of the HFC-134a coolant now facing universal bans from the EPA because of its “greenhouse” impact on the atmosphere.

The new chemical which is already replacing HFC-134a in Cadillacs and other vehicles is a compound known as HFO-1234yf.

There is, however, a peculiar connection between this series of federal bans, the timing of the bans, and the company holding the patents to the substances.

The EPA began banning Freon in 1978 — and DuPont’s patent for Freon expired in 1979. When DuPont invented Freon’s EPA-approved replacement (HFC-134a), they applauded the move to ban Freon. The catch was that, in addition to banning Freon from new development, refrigeration units would need to replace Freon with DuPont’s new HFC-134a.

A generation later, the same environmental alarmists have adopted new environmental scare tactics to create regulations that will profit the same corporate giants. The ozone layer has dropped out of national headlines in favor of global warming-causing “greenhouse gasses” (such as what you’re presently exhaling as you read this). Conveniently, HFC-134a has now been characterized as a very potent “greenhouse gas,” and therefore finds itself in the crosshairs of the EPA and environmental fear mongers everywhere.

But not to the detriment of HFC-creator DuPont. HFC’s proposed replacement (HFO-1234yf) was created by DuPont who now, along with Honeywell, holds a patent on the cooling chemical.

Therefore, EPA and DuPont again find themselves with mutually beneficial goals that are not necessarily better for the American people. Just as the replacement for Freon had detrimental effects on cooling technology, HFO-1234yf faces serious public safety questions, as noted by the Daily Mail in 2013.

Among the concerns, research has pointed out that the new product is toxic, combustible, and extremely dangerous when exposed to a heated engine (say, after a crash).

Auto manufacturers such as BMW and Mercedes Benz, who have been dealing with this issue in Europe, flatly refuse to use the new chemicals in their vehicles.

But none of that is stopping the EPA from moving forward to rewarding DuPont another major payday and putting people at risk for the sake of “environmental protection.”


At least 150 companies prep for carbon prices

At least 150 major companies worldwide — including ExxonMobil, Google, Microsoft and 26 others in the United States — are already making business plans that assume they will be taxed on their carbon pollution, a report out today says.

The U.S. has yet to impose a price on heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions, but other nations are starting to do so as a way to address global warming, so U.S.-based companies are factoring an eventual one into their plans, says the international non-profit CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project. The report is the group's first one to look at corporate carbon pricing on a global scale.

"We're seeing companies taking steps they're not required to, and they're doing this to be competitive in a carbon-constrained world," says Zoe Antitch, spokeswoman of CDP North America, noting many do business in multiple countries. "They're looking ahead. ... They're climate ready."

The report comes one week before leaders of 100-plus countries convene Sept. 23 in New York City for the United Nations' Climate Summit, at which leaders of many nations and corporations are expected to announce their plans to reduce carbon emissions.The World Bank is calling for carbon pricing as a key strategy.

"A price on carbon creates incentives," Rachel Kyte, the World Bank Group's special envoy for climate change, told reporters last week. By hiking the price of fossil fuels such as oil and coal, which emit the most carbon dioxide when burned, she said it spurs investments in energy efficiency and non-polluting renewable power such as solar and wind. She said Canada's British Columbia has had a "revenue-neutral" carbon tax since 2008, and its CO2 emissions have fallen while its economy has grown.

Yet in the U.S., some business leaders and GOP members of Congress remain opposed to taxing carbon emissions, saying it could raise consumer prices for energy. They helped defeat President Obama's legislative push for a national cap-and-trade system in which overall emissions are capped but companies that exceed the limits can buy emission credits from those that emitted less.

So Obama's Environmental Protection Agency, acting without Congress, proposed in June to cut carbon emissions from existing U.S. power plants 30% by 2030. The EPA rule would allow states to meet varying reduction targets by closing coal-fired power plants, saving energy, using more renewable power or forming regional cap-and-trade programs.

California has its own such program, as do nine Northeastern U.S. states, which have created the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative or RGGI.

Other countries have adopted them as well. China, which has several regional programs, has announced it will implement a national cap-and-trade by 2020. The European Union began its Emissions Trading Scheme in 2005. It covers power plants and factories. The United Kingdom has its own program to include additional emitters.

London-based CDP, which surveys thousands of companies every year on their climate policies on behalf of institutional investors, found that 496 companies worldwide say they already participate in a carbon-pricing scheme, including 96 U.S.-based corporations. Of these U.S. companies, 69 say they're regulated by the EU's program.

The CDP's first report on corporate carbon pricing, released in December, looked only at U.S. companies. Like this year, 29 companies said they had placed an internal price on carbon, 18 of which appear in today's report. Those 18: Delphi Automotive, Walt Disney, Apache, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Devon Energy, ExxonMobil, Hess, Cummins, Delta Air, Google, Ameren, American Electric Power, CMS Energy, Duke Energy, Entergy, Integrys Energy and Xcel Energy.

Eleven fell off last year's list, including Wal-Mart, General Electric and BP, but others joined this year's disclosure, including Microsoft, Bank of America, Dow Chemical and Goldman Sachs.

"We expect the number will be a lot higher next year," says Nigel Topping, CDP's executive director, noting his group will specifically ask companies whether they've placed an internal price on carbon. He says the 2013 and 2014 surveys did not do that, so companies had to volunteer the information. He says some that fell off this year's list may not have stopped pricing carbon but simply did not report it.

New Orleans-based Entergy, which runs power plants and provides electricity to customers in four southern states, uses a carbon price to help determine the "best mix" of future energy sources, says Chuck Barlow, its vice president of environmental strategy and policy.

U.S. companies report setting a range of carbon prices, from Microsoft's low of $6 per ton of carbon dioxide emitted to ExxonMobil's $80 per ton — up from $60 per ton last year.

"The risk of climate change is clear, and the risk warrants action," William Colton, ExxonMobil's vice president of corporate strategic planning, said in March in disclosing how the world's largest oil and gas producer assesses the risks of its fossil fuel assets. He said the company, which has shifted some of its production from oil to less-polluting natural gas, is trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in its operations and is supporting research that could lead to technology breakthroughs in energy.



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