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GM’s Fired Fritz Henderson Surfaces at Sunoco

Henderson will become Chairman and CEO of SunCoke Energy.

by on Sep.07, 2010

Then GM CEO Fritz Henderson announces the Chevrolet Volt, the electric car designed to put oil companies out of business.

Sunoco, Inc. has announced that Frederick A. “Fritz” Henderson has joined the company as a senior vice president to help prepare for a previously announced separation of SunCoke Energy from parent Sunoco.

Coke is a key ingredient in steel, of course, a material that auto companies are large purchasers of during their often contentious relationships with suppliers.

Sunoco said last June that  it would separate SunCoke Energy from itself as part of a well-worn Wall Street strategy “designed to unlock shareholder value.” This type of financial engineering ploy clearly didn’t work in the now notorious auto industry captive  component maker spinoffs – GM’s Delphi and Ford Motor’s Visteon. Both transactions ultimately resulted in bankruptcies and costly shareholder losses.

SunCoke facilities in the U.S. have the capacity to manufacture approximately 3.67 million tons of metallurgical coke annually – roughly 25% of domestic production. Sunoco also has an equity interest in a 1.7 million tons-per-year coke-making facility in Vitoria, Brazil.

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Lazarus Named to National Commission on BP Spill

Environmental law expert to probe oil industry practices.

by on Jun.22, 2010

Lazarus specializes in environmental law and has participated in 40 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The co-chairs of the bipartisan National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling have selected a highly regarded Georgetown University law professor to serve as the commission’s executive director, the U.S. Department of Energy said today.

The move comes as the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill continues unabated, with the government consistently raising its estimate of just how much oil is spewing into the Gulf of Mexico, along with ongoing damaging revelations of how government regulators failed, once again, to do their job in ways that could have prevented the disaster. Every day 1.5 to 2.5 million gallons oil  enters the Gulf, according to the latest estimates.

The environmental crisis has the Obama Administration, with its green rhetoric revealed as just that according to critics, scrambling to make the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history an election year issue against what it deems are pro oil industry Republicans. (See Will We Drive Less because of the BP Oil Spill?)

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Gushing Prose!

Following a meeting with the President of the United States last week, the BP Board announced a package of measures to meet its obligations as a responsible party arising from the Deepwater Horizon spill, including the creation of a $20 billion claims fund over the next three and a half years.

Representative Joe Barton (R-Texas) – the leading Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee – said early last week that President Obama’s insistence that BP establish an escrow fund to help pay for the growing ecological and economic damages from the  spill was a “shakedown” and that the U.S. Congress owed British Petroleum an apology.

Barton has received more than $1 million in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industries.

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Will We Drive Less because of the BP Oil Spill?

Latest survey claims one in five Americans will.

by on May.06, 2010

What people say and what they actually do are sometimes two different things.

A national survey released today claims that more than one in five Americans plan to drive less because of the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Moreover, one in eight Americans plan to stop buying British Petroleum (BP) gas altogether.

Among the survey’s other findings:

  • The combined impact of the oil spill and the recent mine disaster in West Virginia has caused more than two in every five Americans, or 41.7%, to think about the “human and environmental costs” associated with their own energy consumption.
  • About three in 10 Americans, 28%, said the spill has made them dislike BP, but their “opinion might improve if they can do more to clean up the mess and make amends.”
  • One in five, 20.5%, said they now doubt BP’s “Beyond Petroleum” slogan and believe it is not really a green company. However, 37.5% said it had not affected their opinion of the company in any way. And 17.4% said it makes them “respect the company for taking responsibility for the accident and clean-up.”
  • More than a third of Americans, or 35.5%, said the spill “was a terrible accident, but our country’s need for domestic oil makes the possibility of such accidents an acceptable risk.”
  • And 21% said, “It was a terrible accident waiting to happen, and offshore drilling in the Gulf should be halted.”

The survey polled 1,312 consumers across the country on Monday and Tuesday, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3%.

“For years our research has shown America is a see-it-to-believe-it nation. Before we make changes, we need to see things with our own eyes or have a personal connection to something. If Americans start seeing a lot of oil-covered pelicans or dying dolphins, these numbers will likely go even higher,” said Suzanne Shelton, president of Shelton Group, which conducted the study.

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