Big oil companies invest big chunks of their profits (which are bigger than many countries’) into climate change denial. As I wrote a while ago, 9 out of 10 top climate change deniers are linked with Exxon Mobil, the biggest private oil company. Still, there are some brilliant scientists working for oil companies, and they understand what is happening and preparing for it – after all, you wouldn’t make plans to explore oil in the Arctic areas if the ice wasn’t melting.

Image source.

They’re also very open in accepting climate change when it suits them. Recently, an oil refinery from Delaware is asking taxpayers to pay for protecting it from rising sea levels. The refinery is just on the water front, and vulnerable to sea level rise, storms and even coastal erosion. Naturally, they invested lots of money in the facility, and don’t want to see it destroyed.

The federal Coastal Zone Management Act provides grants to states for projects such as building out natural barriers, like dunes, to protect against storm surges. The oil refinery believes it too can ask for money, after making its “fair share” of contributions to global warming.

“The extent of the shoreline erosion has reached a point where facility infrastructure is at risk,” says the permit application from the company.


Well sure, we wouldn’t want any damage to be done to the refinery by global warming, especially as refineries are one of the main causes of global warming. We should protect it, so that it can cause even more global warming, so that we can protect it more.

Just so we’re clear – I’m not saying the oil refinery shouldn’t be protected just because it’s an oil refinery – I’m saying that there’s a lot of irony in this – and if oil companies want to be protected against the effects of climate change, they should first admit their part in climate change.

To make things even more interesting, this facility is a particularly bad actor even by the standards of oil refineries since it is refining dirty tar sands oil; and that’s not all. The refinery’s proposal is to construct a type of dam which will likely direct more storm surges toward Delaware City, the adjacent town. Bravo! I applaud you! What you lack for in common sense, you make up in audacity. But hey – at least they’re not denying climate change… that’s something.


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