In 1980, seven of the 10 largest US companies were involved in fossil fuels. Today there’s only one, Exxon Mobil, which ranks at number 10. Technology companies like Apple, Alphabet (the parent company of Google) and Amazon now dominate. Fossil fuel businesses are widely seen as operating a sunset industry; one that is in terminal decline. And this view has gained momentum as the world increasingly recognises the environmental costs the industry imposes.

At one extreme there is a strong emotional response to the industry. Who can forget the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010, when we watched in horror as enormous quantities of oil gushed into the ocean doing untold environmental damage? 

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