EPA Guts Methane Emissions Restrictions For The Fossil Fuel Industry
Despite the fact that more carbon dioxide than ever before is being emitted into our atmosphere and is causing devastating climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency is giving the fossil fuel industry yet another gift by gutting methane emissions rules.
The Trump administration is dead set on destroying the planet as much and as fast as possible in the name of corporate profit, and now that apparently means allowing the fossil fuel industry to spew as many pollutants in the air as they want.
The problem is that methane is an even worse greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council:
Pound for pound, methane packs 87 times the heat-trapping wallop of carbon dioxide over 20 years. Oil and gas operations emit an estimated 15 million metric tons of methane in 2018—equivalent to 1.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide, which equals the annual carbon dioxide emissions of 335 coal-fired power plants.
In short, that means we can expect global temperatures, which have already reached planetary record highs, to soar even higher and at an accelerated rate.
Once the rules are gutted, the fossil fuel industry would no longer have to “install technologies that monitor and limit leaks from new wells, tanks and pipeline networks and to more frequently inspect for leaks,” the Wall Street Journal reports. “It would also forestall legal requirements that would have forced the EPA to set rules on emissions from thousands of pre-existing wells and industry sites.”
The results of this will be catastrophic and would undermine all global efforts to fight climate change, which is why environmental groups are condemning the Trump administration’s move.
“This is extraordinarily harmful,” United Nations special representative Rachel Kyte told the New York Times. “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.”
Rainforest Action Network’s Patrick McCully, who already has a lot on his plate dealing with the fallout from the Amazon rainforest fires, issued a dire warning.
“Right now, we’re on a sinking boat, and instead of just scooping water out, we must take immediate action to patch the hole where it’s gushing in,” he said. “This means we must put a full-stop to fossil fuel expansion, or we all sink into climate chaos.”
Natural Resources Defense Council Senior Strategic Director of Climate & Clean Energy David Doniger agrees.
“The Trump EPA is eager to give the oil and gas industry a free pass to keep leaking enormous amounts of climate pollution into the air,” he said. “We simply cannot protect our children and grandchildren from climate catastrophe if EPA lets this industry off scot-free. If EPA moves forward with this reckless and sinister proposal, we will see them in court.”
There is only a small window of time we have to fight climate change and save our world and our species before it is too late. But if these methane rules go into effect on top Trump’s plan to lease millions of acres of public lands to the fossil fuel industry, we might as well start preparing for the end.
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