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Alberta wildfires move to major oil facilities

Oil companies in Canada have been forced to evacuate 4,000 workers from camps around Fort McMurray, as wildfires continued to rage in the region.

Suncor Energy and Syncrude Canada took action after the fires suddenly shifted northwards overnight.
Firefighters and other officials have now shifted their efforts to protecting the major oil sands facility in north of the city of Fort McMurray.

Officials said the evacuation of oil workers was a precautionary measure, with the fire still about 10 miles away from the site.

The entire 90,000 strong population of Fort McMurray was forced to flee the city two weeks ago, with wildfires destroying about 15% of the town’s structures.

#ExxonKnew: Texas attorney general backs oil major in historic legal fight

Exxon Mobil has found an ally as prosecutors move to force the company to disclose its internal climate change documents.

Texas attorney general Ken Paxton has asked a state judge to block efforts by officials from the US Virgin Islands to subpoena 40 years worth of internal documents from Exxon Mobil, dismissing the case as a “fishing expedition of the worst kind” and a violation of the oil company’s first amendment rights.

The development is the latest chapter in a long-running effort to force the oil giant to disclose its documents discussing global warming. The company’s critics believe that Exxon misled investors and the general population by publicly denying the existence of climate change while discussing and planning for it internally.

Reuters report that the Virgin Islands attorney general began his probe into the company two months ago after similar cases were begun in New York, Massachusetts, and California.

Paxton vehemently defended Exxon, which has its headquarters in Texas, at a press conference yesterday.

“What is Exxon Mobil’s transgression? Holding a view on climate change that the Virgin Islands attorney general disagrees with?” he said. “This is about the criminalization of speech and the criminalization of thought.”

Exxon has no operations in the US Virgin Islands, meaning that officials would need cooperation from Texas to get the documents. Reuters report that it is unclear why Paxton’s motion focused on the US Virgin Islands and not the other states bringing cases. The case could ultimately go to a higher court.

Exxon, meanwhile, thanked Paxton for his support in a statement.

India to divert rivers to tackle drought

India will divert water from its major rivers, including the Ganges, to drought-hit areas, as the country looks to help the 330million Indians affected by water shortages.

Water resources minister Uma Bharti announced the plans in an interview with the BBC, stating that transferring water resources was now her government’s “top priority”.

Ms Bharti said: “The water crisis will be there [in the future] because of climate change but through this [inter linking of rivers] we will be able to help the people.”

Back in March, Energydesk reported that India’s planned new coal plants could increase water shortages in the country, with 24% of India’s existing and 13% of proposed plants in the country in areas of high water stress.

In other news

BP: Oil giant plan to drill in Great Australian Bight rejected again

Break Free: Climate change protestors attract attention with mass protests

Climate change: April breaks global temperature record

COP21: Governments look to draft rules to accelerate climate deal

Germany: Renewables supply almost all of country’s energy needs

Hinkley: Deutsche bank hires EDF director who quit over UK nuclear plans

Markets: Energy shares bounce on Wall Street as oil price rises

Shell: Company works to repair leak that spilled 2,000 barrels into the Gulf of Mexico

UK: World’s biggest floating windfarm to be built off coast of Scotland