As a part of its (apparent) wider attack on climate change, the Trump administration is reportedly preparing to make it significantly easier for industries to release methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere.
According to the New York Times, the administration appears to be yet again doing the bidding of gas and oil companies by weakening the Obama-era regulation, which required energy companies to keep a check on their methane leaks.
“They’re taking them down, one by one,” said Janet McCabe, the EPA’s top climate and clean-air regulator during the Obama administration.
For the longest time, the industries have complained the tests for emissions were costly and burdensome for them. Hence, the climate change-denying crew in the White House apparently decided to make things effortless for them.
As per the proposed regulations, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) plans to make public this week, the companies that were previously required to conduct methane leaks inspection every six months will now be reportedly required to do so once a year, or up to two years for “low-producing wells.”
In addition, the equipment that traps and compresses the gas will reportedly be examined every six months, instead of three months. Also, the Trump administration reportedly doubled the time limit on repairs from detected leaks from 30 to 60 days.
Moreover, the EPA proposal in question will allow companies operating in states to follow their own rules regarding the methane emissions instead of the federal ones.
The alterations under consideration will be the third major step the agency will make this year to change the way the country deals with crucial air pollutants.
Earlier this year, President Donald Trump signed an executive order dismantling Obama-era climate policies, keeping his campaign promise to support the coal industry and claimed the decision was an attempt to put American jobs first.
Couple of months ago, the Trump administration quietly ended funding for NASA’s research program, Carbon Monitoring System (CMS), which tracked the world’s flow of carbon dioxide from the space.
Where environmentalists were left scratching their heads over the administration’s rollback on fundamental policies, industry groups, for obvious reasons, rejoiced the potential changes.
“It’s a neat pair” of proposals on methane, said Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance, an association of independent oil and gas companies that is based in Denver. The Obama-era EPA. methane rule, she said, “was the definition of red tape. It was a record-keeping nightmare that was technically impossible to execute in the field.”
It just makes sense for the industries to sing praises for the proposed changes as, if implemented, the proposition will reportedly save the oil and gas industry nearly $484 million by 2025.
The latest move is consistent with Trump’s disregard for one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century: climate change. To make the matters worse, the commander-in-chief has made sure to stack his administration with appointees who share his disbelief in the scientific evidence of climate change — and they have not disappointed him.
Banner Image Credits: REUTERS/Brian Snyder