Two new reports out this week examine California’s oil fields and how the high-emitting oil extracted from many of them poses a threat to the environment and human health.
Two reports out today from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Energy & Climate recommend greater transparency over California’s oil operations.
Senior Fellow at Carnegie, Deborah Gordon, spoke with ABC 23 in Bakersfield, California about the need for greater oil data transparency in the region and the state.
Midway Sunset, which is the oldest and most productive oil field in California and which essentially started the oil industry in the state, also happens to be one of the dirtiest, according to a study by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Deborah Gordon, director of the energy climate program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said little was discussed during the Paris climate negotiations that focused directly on the oil sector.
'Oil is changing: As conventional resources dwindle, tight oil, oil sands, heavy oils and others emerge,' Deborah Gordon, Director, Energy and Climate Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 'The Know Your Oil Act that builds on the foundation of Carnegie's Oil-Climate Index allows stakeholders to assess and compare the greenhouse gas emissions from different oil supply chains.'
An important new report “A Smart Tax: Pricing Oil for a Safe Climate” by Deborah Gordon and Jessica Tuchman Mathews at The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace takes a broader view of the complex and challenging oil supply chain.
According to a 2015 paper by Wang Tao, of Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy, Beijing, high-sulphur petcoke burnt to generate power and heat emits “11 per cent more greenhouse gas than coal, and nearly twice the emissions of natural gas”.
In a less volatile year, the long-term viability of fossil fuels might have been high on their agenda after December’s breakthrough climate deal in Paris. But within the industry, that debate has “fallen into the abyss of $27 oil,” said Deborah Gordon, director of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s energy and climate program.
"On the margin, it is possible that some investment into clean energy is slowing down due to falling fossil fuel prices," David Livingston, an associate in the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Energy and Climate Program, said by email. "I would expect the most impact in areas where clean energy is attempting to compete with fossil fuels."