Interesting that Oregon has stopped coal terminals and gaspipelines, this is so topical in western canda, with proposals to flood the peace river to liquify gas for china, all the while fracking up groundwater wherever they go, not to mention tarsands or enbridge or the vancouver oil terminal!
The debate over coal exports, preceded by the fight against liquified natural gas, has put the former lumber company town of Longview at the center of a regional movement against fossil fuel projects. But Longview isn’t alone. All over the nation, fossil fuel companies are creating pockets of localized backlash. People who never before had a special reason to dislike them now have very good reasons indeed.
The extreme energy attack
From fracking wells, to tar sands pipelines, to shale oil, to coal exports — a barrage of new fossil fuel projects have hit U.S. communities in recent years, many falling under the heading of extreme energy. Although the reasons for the boom are complex, a few key economic, political and historical factors stand out.
One reason fossil fuel companies are focusing on hard-to-reach, low quality North American energy reserves is that private companies’ access to overseas fossil fuels is shrinking. The trend is exacerbated because much of the world’s oil and gas is controlled not by private entities, but by state-owned companies. The world’s biggest oil company isn’t ExxonMobil, it’s Saudi Aramco.
According to Forbes, Exxon is only the fourth largest, with Russia’s Gazprom and the National Iranian Oil Company also outranking it.
Because most oil nations have state-owned extraction companies, access to dwindling reserves of crude is seriously limiting for private companies. Add to that the proliferation of technologies like fracking and political pressure to achieve energy independence, and you get major incentives for oil companies to focus on North America.