Saturday, November 15, 2008

A look at Oil Change International

"Oil Change International campaigns to expose the true costs of oil and facilitate the coming transition towards clean energy. We are dedicated to identifying and overcoming political barriers to that transition." That's what they're saying about themselves. This is a worthy goal as I think most people just fill up their tanks and don't think a thing about what they're doing. Just like how clean water running out of a tap allows people to forget the true cost of getting clean water, having a magical fuel easily available at every corner gas station gives the people an opportunity to not see the true cost of it all.

How does Oil Change go about this? "Oil Change was founded in order to network together, encourage, and compliment a diversity of strategies and tactics around the oil industry. We are a research and advocacy organization that exists to force progress in the energy industry towards an environmentally and socially sustainable energy future."

They are running three advocacy 'campaigns' ...

Separate Oil & State is a US campaign to get oil money out of politics. The greatest barriers to clean energy are political, not technical—and these barriers are largely fueled by the oil industry. We know that in order to achieve a clean energy future, we have to expose and eradicate the political influence of the oil industry; we have to achieve a separation of oil & state. Clearly there is an issue with Oil industry's influence over the political scene, for example President Enron (G.W.Bush), Vice President Halliburton (D.Cheney) and Secretary of State Chevron (C.Rice).

Follow the Oil Money is an interactive tool that tracks the flow of oil money in US politics. Click on one of the search tools on the right to find out which companies are pumping their dirty oil money into politics, who is receiving it, and how it correlates to key climate, energy and war votes. Using this resource you can search the network of funding between the oil companies and Congress. You can look at data on specific congress critters by zip code. You can track votes by each congress critter. etc

End Oil Aid is a diverse coalition of organizations working together to end oil aid and address the issues at the intersection of oil dependence, climate change, and international debt. The individual organizations within this coalition work with a wide variety of national and international networks to: influence public policy with an eye towards third world debt cancellation; identify and overcome the political barriers to transitioning away from oil dependence; and hold private and public financial institutions accountable for bankrolling deforestation and climate destabilization. The partners are FRIENDS OF THE EARTH INTERNATIONAL, JUBILEE USA NETWORK, OIL CHANGE INTERNATIONAL and PEOPLE & PLANET.

Their Oil Aid: tracking subsidies to the international oil industry website "is an interactive tool for tracking subsidies to the international oil industry. You can search for oil aid by donor country, recipient country, donor financial institution, and other fields." It's a truism that the price of oil doesn't include a bunch of subsidies some of which are indirect. But I have never seen a clear description of just what those hidden subsidies really are.

A Climate of War is a new report from Oil Change International that quantifies both the greenhouse gas emissions of the Iraq War and the opportunity costs involved in fighting war rather than climate change. Such as: Projected total US spending on the Iraq war could cover all of the global investments in renewable power generation that are needed between now and 2030 in order to halt current warming trends.

They have several ways to get involved with Oil Change International.

An interesting group...

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