3 Republicans Defect To Reject Bill To Repeal Obama-Era Methane Limits — Interior Dept. says it will scrap regs anyway
By Alexander C. Kaufman
Republicans’ bid to roll back an Obama-era rule limiting methane emissions from drilling rigs on public lands narrowly lost in the Senate on Wednesday after three GOP senators voted against the repeal.
In a 49-51 vote, the Senate preserved the rule, strengthened after last November’s election, that limited the amount of the powerful greenhouse gas methane that can be vented and burned from oil and gas extraction sites on federal lands.
Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) were expected to vote against the rule, but the surprise defection of Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) helped tilt the scales on a vote environmentalists are hailing as a rare victory over President Donald Trump’s assault on policies that address climate change.
“Improving the control of methane emissions is an important public health and air quality issue, which is why some states are moving forward with their own regulations requiring greater investment in recapture technology,” McCain said in a statement. “While I am concerned that the BLM rule may be onerous, passage of the resolution would have prevented the federal government, under any administration, from issuing a rule that is ‘similar,’ according to the plain reading of the Congressional Review Act.”
by Matt Egan
A BP () spokesman told CNNMoney that it “welcomed the Paris agreement when it was signed, and we continue to support it…
“We believe it’s possible to provide the energy the world needs while also addressing the climate challenge,” BP said.
Chevron () told CNNMoney it “supports continuing with” the Paris deal because it “offers a first step towards a global framework.”
Exxon (hailing the Paris agreement as an “effective framework for addressing the risks of climate change.”), the biggest US oil company that Tillerson used to lead, sent a letter to the White House last month
A Shell () spokesman confirmed that the energy giant remains “strongly in favor” of the Paris deal.
At first glance, it might seem surprising to hear that Big Oil isn’t seizing on the shifting political environment to poke holes in a deal that undermines fossil fuels like crude oil.
But these traditional energy companies have a vested financial interest in the Paris deal. That’s because COP21’s crack down on carbon emissions favors natural gas, which emits much less pollution than coal.
While Exxon, BP and Shell are primarily identified as oil companies, they are actually diversified energy firms that rely heavily on natural gas to make money.
For instance, 42% of Exxon’s total daily production last quarter was actually in natural gas, according to FactSet. BP and Shell also lean on natural gas for a large chunk of their output.
“These companies view natural gas as a key growth area going forward for them. It just makes sense for them to be at the table,” said Brian Youngberg, senior energy analyst at Edward Jones.
Natural gas production has soared over the past decade, thanks to the abundance of shale gas in North America.
And now there’s the added benefit that governments are cracking down on carbon emissions.
BP’s statement mentioned its commitment to “reducing emissions in the power sector by producing and marketing natural gas.”…
L A Times article deceptively hides 750 million metric tons of U.S. Greenhouse Gas emission reductions
Guest essay by Larry Hamlin An April 16, 2017 L A Times article entitled “Climate goal in peril” presents a graph which portrays US greenhouse gas emission reductions as falling short of Obama’s voluntary and unenforceable 2015 Paris agreement pledge.
Oh No! Study warns of CO2 at 5,000 parts per million by the year 2400! ‘To cause unprecedented warming’
USA Today – By Bjorn Lomborg
According to the International Energy Agency, the U.S. promised to cut more energy-related CO2 emissions than any country in the world from 2013 to 2025, under the Paris climate treaty.
The problem is that this promise never had much ground in reality.
The primary measure America offered to achieve the promised cuts was the Clean Power Plan, which required the U.S. power sector to reduce CO2 emissions.
Yet this plan, even if fully enacted, would have achieved just a third of the U.S. promises under the Paris Agreement. If it had remained in effect for the entire century, my peer-reviewed research using United Nations climate change models found that it would have reduced temperature rises by an absolutely trivial 0.023 Fahrenheit at the end of this century.
Without the Clean Power Plan, U.S. emissions will likely increase slightly.
The treaty is nothing but a paper tiger: Its only legal underpinning is that all nations submitted promises — but those promises do not need to be kept.
In truth, Trump’s action just exposes what we have known for a while: The Paris Agreement is not the way to solve global warming.
Even if every nation fulfilled everything promised — including Obama’s undertakings — it would get us nowhere near achieving the treaty’s much-hyped, unrealistic promise to keep temperature rises under 1.5 degrees Celsius.
The U.N. itself has estimated that even if every country lived up to every single promised carbon cut between 2016 and 2030, emissions would be cut by just one-hundredth of what is needed to keep temperature rises below 2 C.
My analysis, similar to findings by scientists at MIT, shows that even if these promises were extended for 70 more years, then they’d only reduce temperature rises about 0.3 degrees F by 2100.
Moreover, many poor nations signed up to the treaty largely because of a promise of $100 billion a year of “climate aid” from rich nations, starting from 2020. Over the past five years, rich countries have managed to come up with only a 10th of one year’s promise.
It is only a matter of time before taxpayers from wealthy nations balk at the bill waiting for them. That will make many developing countries back out of the whole process.
This climate approach rehashes a failed policy that wasted decades: From …
Global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions were flat for a third straight year in 2016 even as the global economy grew, according to the International Energy Agency, signaling a continuing decoupling of emissions and economic activity.
The new administrator plans to follow his statutory mandate—clean air and water—and to respect states’ rights.
ILLUSTRATION: KEN FALLIN
Scott Pruitt, whom the Senate confirmed Friday, 52-46, doesn’t fit either mold. His focus is neither expanding nor reducing regulation. “There is no reason why EPA’s role should ebb or flow based on a particular administration, or a particular administrator,” he says. “Agencies exist to administer the law. Congress passes statutes, and those statutes are very clear on the job EPA has to do. We’re going to do that job.” You might call him an EPA originalist.
Not that environmentalists and Democrats saw it that way. His was one of President Trump’s most contentious cabinet nominations. Opponents objected that as Oklahoma’s attorney general Mr. Pruitt had sued the EPA at least 14 times. Detractors labeled him a “climate denier” and an oil-and-gas shill, intent on gutting the agency and destroying the planet. For his confirmation hearing, Mr. Pruitt sat through six theatrical hours of questions and submitted more than 1,000 written responses.
When Mr. Pruitt sat down Thursday for his first interview since his November nomination, he spent most of the time waxing enthusiastic about all the good his agency can accomplish once he refocuses it on its statutorily defined mission: working cooperatively with the states to improve water and air quality.
“We’ve made extraordinary progress on the environment over the decades, and that’s something we should celebrate,” he says. “But there is real work to be done.” What kind of work? Hitting air-quality targets, for one: “Under current measurements, some 40% of the country is still in nonattainment.” There’s also toxic waste to clean up: “We’ve got 1,300 Superfund sites and some of them have been on the list for more than three decades.”
Such work is where Washington can make a real difference. “These are issues that go directly to the health of our citizens that should be the absolute focus of this agency,” Mr. Pruitt says. “This president is a fixer, he’s an action-oriented leader, and a
Morano: “The more the plans fail, the more the planners keep planning and passing regulations.”
“What Scott Pruitt really represents — you see my smile here — This is the end of superstition in Washington. And it’s actually going back to science and actual cost benefit analysis. It’s very simple: The EPA climate plan is the signature Obama executive order — he couldn’t get it through Congress so he bypassed democracy. But this plan wouldn’t even impact global CO2 levels, let alone global temperatures or storms. Yet Obama administration officials like John Podesta actually sold the regulations as as way to prevent storms and we need this because the storms are getting worse.”
Morano: “If you want to rescind Al Gore’s nobel prize — give it to fracking industry. they had the greatest effect. U.S. emissions now are at a 25 year low in the first half of 2016 due to fracking taking over for coal. It’s technology and new ways of doing it, not the heavy hand of regulation. CO2 emissions are not bad, I was being illustrative there.”
“During the combined presidencies of George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, the EPA imposed five federal air-quality implementation plans on states. Mr. Obama’s EPA imposed 56.” – “We’ve made extraordinary progress on the environment over the decades, and that’s something we should celebrate,” he says. “But there is real work to be done.” What kind of work? Hitting air-quality targets, for one: “Under current measurements, some 40% of the country is still in nonattainment.” There’s also toxic waste to clean up: “We’ve got 1,300 Superfund sites and some of them have been on the list for more than three decades.”
“U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions hit a 25-year low over the first six months of 2016…”