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Fri, 2012-08-03 05:00Steve Horn
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Delaware Tax Haven: The Other Shale Gas Industry Loophole

Most people think of downtown Houston, Texas as ground zero for the oil and gas industry. Houston, after all, serves as home base for corporate headquarters of oil and gas giants, including the likes of BP America, ConocoPhillips, and Shell Oil Company, to name a few.

Comparably speaking, few would think of Wilmington, Delaware in a similar vein. But perhaps they should, according to a recent New York Times investigative report by Leslie Wayne.

Wayne's story revealed that Delaware serves as what journalist Nicholas Shaxson calls a “Treasure Island” in his recent book by that namesake. It's an “onshore tax haven” and an even more robust one than the Caymen Islands, to boot.

The Delaware “Island” is heavily utilized by oil and gas majors, all of which are part of the “two-thirds of the Fortune 500” corporations parking their money in The First State.

Delaware is an outlier in the way it does business,” David Brunori, a professor at George Washington Law School told The Times. “What it offers is an opportunity to game the system and do it legally.”

The numbers are astounding. “Over the last decade, the Delaware loophole has enabled corporations to reduce the taxes paid to other states by an estimated $9.5 billion,” Wayne wrote

“More than 900,000 business entities choose Delaware as a location to incorporate,” explained another report. “The number…exceeds Delaware's human population of 850,000.”

Fri, 2011-12-09 10:24Steve Horn
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Fracking Ohio's Utica Shale to "Boost Local Economy"? A "Total" Sham

It is a well-known fact that the unconventional gas industry is involved in an inherently toxic business, particularly through hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), which the EPA just confirmed has contaminated groundwater in Wyoming. The documentary film “Gasland,” DeSmogBlog's report “Fracking the Future: How Unconventional Gas Threatens our Water, Health, and Climate,” and numerous other investigations, reports, and scientific studies have echoed the myriad problems with unconventional oil and gas around the globe.

What is less well-known, but arguably equally as important, is who exactly stands to benefit economically from the destruction of our land, air, and water in the gas industry's rush to profit from the fracking bonanza. The U.S oil and gas industry would have us believe that they are principally focused on ushering in American energy independence. But their claims are increasingly suspect as the real motivation of this industry becomes clearer by the day.

A hint: it's not the small “mom and pop,” independent gas companies, but multinational oil and gas corporations. Another hint: it's often not even American multinational oil and gas corporations, but rather, foreign-based multinational oil and gas corporations who stand to gain the most.

France's Total S.A. Enters Ohio's Utica Shale, as well as Uganda, South Sudan and Kenya

On December 7, Bloomberg's Businessweek reported that Total S.A. is positioning itself to acquire 25 percent of Chesapeake Energy’s stake in Ohio's Utica Shale, valued at $2.14 Billion

Total S.A., the largest oil and gas producer in France, is a multinational corporation perhaps most notorious for its involvement in Iraq's “Oil-For-Food” scandal. In 2010, Total S.A. was accused of bribing former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's officials to secure oil supplies. 

Fri, 2007-12-07 11:20Bill Miller
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Gore pushes Bali delegates for early pact to curb emissions

Former vice-president Al Gore has urged officials to advance by two years a new treaty to curb greenhouse emissions instead of waiting for the Kyoto Protocol to expire in 2012.

Tue, 2007-06-05 11:23Bill Miller
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Global warming to devastate economies, nature in ice-loss sweep

A new United Nations study says hundreds of millions of livelihoods will be affected by melting snow and ice due to climate change , and time is running out for political leaders to reach agreement on curbing emissions.

Tue, 2007-03-27 09:53Bill Miller
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Global warming heats up in the Arctic

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates the Arctic holds some 25 per cent of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas, among other resources, and the melting of the Polar ice cap due to human-induced climate change is accelerating the stampede for riches. It's a catastrophic scenario for the Arctic ecosystem, for polar bears and other wildlife, and for Inuit populations whose ancient cultures depend on frozen waters.

Mon, 2007-03-26 10:17Bill Miller
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China, Norway and UN sign deal to combat climate change

The two nations and the UN Development Program have agreed to attack the effects of global warming in China’s rural areas, including the melting of glaciers in Tibet. Programs will be developed as a tool for provincial governments to assess potential risks and develop responses.

Thu, 2007-03-15 10:14Bill Miller
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International coalition takes aim at popular air-conditioner refrigerant in battle against climate change

Industrial and developing countries have joined forces to call for stringent limits on HCFC-22 , the world’s most popular refrigerant for air-conditioners, amid mounting evidence it depletes the ozone layer and contributes to global warming.

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