Donald Trump came into office all hot to roll back everything that President Barack Obama had accomplished during his two terms. In less than three years, POTUS has taken a huge bite out of these accomplishments. This was just the latest.
Carbon dioxide has been painted as the culprit when it comes to problems in the environment, but methane is just about 30 times worse. It makes up almost 10 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. Carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere longer than methane, but it has, according to The New York Times:
’80 times the heating-trapping power of carbon dioxide in the first 20 years in the atmosphere.’
Much of that involved the oil and gas industries. Yet, the White House’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was set to push regulation of methane emissions off of the climate change cliff.
The EPA’s proposed rule planned to get rid of federal government regulations on the oil and gas industry. Unfortunately, the leaks from natural gas drilling, shipping, and storage have been the biggest offenders when it came to methane emissions.
The Trump administration decided to only regulate methane indirectly. However, it did not intend to roll back President Barak Obama’s regulations on “volatile organic compounds” at this time.
The federal government ruled that these two members of the country’s business community had to install technology to:
‘…inspect for and repair methane leaks from wells, pipelines and storage facilities.’
Surprisingly, many of the biggest corporations opposed Trump’s new rollback. These include the large auto companies, which do not like the plan to allow more auto emission pollution. In addition, there were electric utilities that have been against relaxing restrictions on:
‘…toxic mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants.’
United Nations Special Representative on Sustainable Energy Rachel Kyte said:
‘This is extraordinarily harmful.Just at a time when the federal government’s job should be to help localities and states move faster toward cleaner energy and a cleaner economy, just at that moment when speed and scale is what’s at stake, the government is walking off the field.’
Senior Director of the Environmental Defense Fund Ben Rathner said:
‘The reputation of American natural gas is at the precipice, and methane rollbacks are the shove.
Executive Vice President of the Independent Petroleum Association of America said that small operators cannot afford to absorb the costs of inspecting or repairing wells. This would be far easier for Exxon or Shell:
It’s much easier for them to regulate those existing sources. But for these small businesses, it’s a very different economic impact.’
Vice President of the American Petroleum Institute Erik Milito, which is a trade organization for the oil and gas sector, was all behind the planned rule:
‘We think it’s a smarter way of targeting methane emissions.’
United States Chair for Shell Gretchen Watkins wanted regulations:
‘…that will both regulate existing methane emissions by also future methane emissions.’
Executive Vice President of the Independent Petroleum Association of America Lee Fuller said about the bigger oil and gas companies:
‘It’s much easier for them to regulate those existing sources. But for these small businesses, it’s a very different economic impact.’
The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.