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Press Misrepresents EPA’s Proposed Changes to Obama-Era Methane Emissions Rules

Press Misrepresents EPA’s Proposed Changes to Obama-Era Methane Emissions Rules

Contrary to press reports, EPA’s changes are not a rollback, but a chance to reduce duplication and enhance clarity.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjm5k6Kf-RU

The Trump administration has just proposed a new rule to amend restrictions on the monitoring of methane, a greenhouse gas that is supposed to be contributing to “global warming.”

The Trump administration laid out on Thursday a far-reaching plan to cut back on the regulation of methane emissions, a major contributor to climate change.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule aims to eliminate federal requirements that oil and gas companies install technology to detect and fix methane leaks from wells, pipelines and storage facilities. It would also reopen the question of whether the E.P.A. had the legal authority to regulate methane as a pollutant.

…E.P.A. officials said the new methane rule, which would replace one from the Obama administration, is a response to Mr. Trump’s calls to trim regulations that impede economic growth or keep the nation reliant on energy imports. The plan “removes unnecessary and duplicative regulatory burdens from the oil and gas industry,” said the E.P.A. administrator, Andrew Wheeler. “The Trump administration recognizes that methane is valuable and the industry has an incentive to minimize leaks and maximize its use.”

Mr. Wheeler noted that since 1990, natural gas production in the United States has almost doubled while methane emissions across the industry have fallen 15 percent.

However, according to the American Petroleum Institute, the EPA’s proposed changes to the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) will continue to regulate Volatile Organic Compound (VOCs) such as methane. This will drive levels down even lower.

…[M]odifying the NSPS could reduce duplication with state programs, provide greater clarity for industry in its regulatory compliance and, ultimately, further lower methane and other emissions and protect the environment. Nearly 90 percent of all U.S. natural gas and oil production will be regulated under the EPA’s NSPS by 2023. In fact, this procedural correction is best described as a realignment with the agency’s obligations under the Clean Air Act.

The well-worn “rollback” tale also dismisses the fact that it will still effectively regulate emissions, as well as industry’s leadership and laser-focus on reducing emissions through technology, innovation and industry initiative – such as The Environmental Partnership. Bottom line: methane is natural gas, and the industry is highly motivated to capture every molecule of it not only for environmental reasons, but for business reasons too.

The Trump administration asserted the new rules would save the oil and gas industry $17 million to $19 million annually in compliance costs. However, industry reaction is mixed, as some firms have green justice corporate types who are not supportive of the proposal.

…The American Petroleum Institute welcomed the rollback. “The oil and natural gas industry is laser-focused on cutting methane emissions through industry initiatives, smart regulations, new technologies, and best practices,” said Erik Milito, API’s Vice President of Upstream and Industry Operations.

But some oil and gas companies, including Shell, BP and Exxon, have actually supported the Obama-era regulations.

“Shell remains committed to achieving our target of maintaining methane emissions intensity below 0.2% by 2025 for all operated assets globally,” Shell U.S. President Gretchen Watkins said in a statement. “Despite the Administration’s proposal to no longer regulate methane, Shell’s U.S. assets will continue to contribute to that global target.”

Of course, the epicenter of the #Resistance movement is already threatening another lawsuit…on top of the nearly 50 filed.

California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra called the EPA proposal a “monumentally stupid decision” and said that the state, which has already sued the Trump administration at least 49 times over environmental policy issues, was “ready to fight this senseless decision.”

So why the misrepresentation? The usual blend of Trump Derangement Syndrome, desire for click-bait, and a refusal to for big government believers to embrace the idea that fewer rules might be better.

One benefit we can enjoy, however: Another downpour of liberal tears.

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Comments

“So why the misrepresentation? The usual blend of Trump Derangement Syndrome, desire for click-bait, and a refusal to for big government believers to embrace the idea that fewer rules might be better.”

I suggest that the pattern is consistent and clear. The press is propaganda arm of the left. There job is not to report the news with accuracy or neutrality. We are simply living Orwell’s Animal Farm.

The press is doing what I expect them to do and what their bosses pay them to do. TDS is a fear not an illness at their level. They are following the plan. They are the Farm’s Squealer.

“The Trump administration laid out on Thursday a far-reaching plan to cut back on the regulation of methane emissions, a major contributor to climate change.”

The lie starts right in the first sentence. Methane is not now, nor has it ever been a major driver of climate dynamics. The amount of methane added to the environment from the petroleum industry is the equivalent of adding a drop of bleach to your town swimming pool. Insignificant.

Sounds ideal. Shell, BP and Exxon remain free to chase after this chimera—while gaining credit with the climate nazis for their efforts—while more sensible corporations can get on with their business. No complaints there.

    Except that, as oil companies, the eco-left will still condemn them as evil, planet-destroying monsters.

    No matter how hard you pander to them, it will never be enough.

Does anyone believe anything the media says any more.

This is a prime example of 15 laws all saying the same thing. A co-worker once went off on a tirade about Trump cutting regulations. I let the empty vessel rant for a long time when he ran out of breath I asked one question that ruined his argument. How many laws do you need for clean water? Isn’t one that says clean water enough. He was slack jawed

Leslie Eastman: The Trump administration has just proposed a new rule to amend restrictions on the monitoring of methane, a greenhouse gas that is supposed to be contributing to “global warming.”

Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, so does contribute to global warming.

Leslie Eastman: So why the misrepresentation?

It’s not a misrepresentation. The rollback will eliminate rules on existing sources of atmospheric methane.

    CommoChief in reply to Zachriel. | September 2, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    Zachriel,

    Does the revision eliminate rules on methane in their entirety or remove redundant rules and streamline the regulatory framework so that methane continues to be regulated but in a more efficient manner?

      CommoChief: Does the revision eliminate rules on methane in their entirety or remove redundant rules and streamline the regulatory framework so that methane continues to be regulated but in a more efficient manner?

      It removes rules that apply to pre-existing installations.

        Professor Know-It-All: what is your source for this conclusion?

        CommoChief in reply to Zachriel. | September 2, 2019 at 6:37 pm

        Zachriel,

        So in answering my question you state that ‘ it removes rules that apply to preexisting installations’. That wasn’t a responsive answer it was a non-sequitur.

        Just to be clear I will rephrase. Are you stating that this proposal removes all methane emissions regulations at federal, state, local and voluntarily imposed industry regulations?

        If not, then what specifically are you stating?

          CommoChief: That wasn’t a responsive answer it was a non-sequitur.

          It was directly responsive.

          CommoChief: Are you stating that this proposal removes all methane emissions regulations at federal, state, local and voluntarily imposed industry regulations?

          No. It does not remove all rules. It removes one set of rules, leaving another, weaker set of rules intact.

        txvet2 in reply to Zachriel. | September 3, 2019 at 1:44 am

        US methane emissions from the O&G production sources are, on a global scale, insignificant, and the rule changes would therefore be equally insignificant. The US is not even a primary source of methane emissions, and the percentage contributed by those sources governed by these regs is inconsequential. Beyond that, essentially everything of consequence that you’ve posted on this subject is inaccurate.

          txvet2: US methane emissions from the O&G production sources are, on a global scale, insignificant, and the rule changes would therefore be equally insignificant. </i

          About a third of U.S. methane emissions are from natural gas and petroleum systems. The U.S. represents about 7% of global emissions. Like much green technology, systems developed in the U.S. can be sold to other countries.

    labrat in reply to Zachriel. | September 2, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    H20 is a powerful greenhouse gas. Magnitudes more powerful than methane which is a tiny fraction of our atmosphere. Why don’t we regulate water vapor emissions?

      CommoChief in reply to labrat. | September 2, 2019 at 2:49 pm

      labrat,

      If you think it a good idea to regulate water vapor emissions, by all means write a draft regulation, seek sponsors in HOR and the Senate and push for passage. It’s a free country.

      My point to Zachriel was that the media choose to word it’s presented headline in a slanted, agenda driven manner. The way I described the administration action is actually closer to the truth.

        “the media choose to word it’s presented headline in a slanted, agenda driven manner. The way I described the administration action is actually closer to the truth…”

        It ain’t ‘the media.’ It’s the ‘democrat media.’

        Lots of other news sources quoted it correctly. Let’s start being accurate, and cull b.s. news sources from accurate ones.

        TX-rifraph in reply to CommoChief. | September 2, 2019 at 7:44 pm

        I think that labrat’s point was that regulating methane is meaningless as its effects are small compared to water vapor. And, if that is the case, why regulate methane? Because methane is energy and water vapor is not? Perhaps the purpose of the methane regulations has little to do with the environment but lots to do with the economy?

          TX-rifraph: I think that labrat’s point was that regulating methane is meaningless as its effects are small compared to water vapor.

          Anthropogenic emissions of water vapor do not change the atmosphere’s net water vapor content. That’s because the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere is due to the atmosphere’s ambient temperature and the vast water resources of the oceans. Any addition of water vapor is quickly precipitated out of the atmosphere, so there is no net change.

          However, anthropogenic emissions of methane and carbon dioxide do cause a net change in the atmospheric content of these greenhouse gases. That increases the greenhouse effect, and because the atmosphere is warmer, it also moistens the atmosphere, amplifying the warming.

      labrat: Why don’t we regulate water vapor emissions?

      Because it wouldn’t make a difference. The amount of atmospheric water vapor doesn’t depend on emissions, but on ambient temperature. If the atmosphere is warm, the atmosphere holds more water vapor. If the atmosphere is cool, the atmosphere holds less water vapor.

      That’s one of the key features of greenhouse warming, and was discovered over a century ago. If something warms the atmosphere, atmospheric water vapor increases, amplifying the warming. If something cools the atmosphere, atmospheric water vapor decreases, amplifying the cooling. This amplification was found necessary to explain why the Earth see-saws between ice ages and ice-free ages, a dipole equilibrium.

        Another conclusion, without citing a source.

        Aren’t there at least some old encyclopedia nearby where you’re camped in your mother’s basement?

        The most recent ice age ended nearly 12,000 years ago. That’s “see-sawing”? And you think humans have the power to regulate this “see-sawing”? Dotard alert

          Obie1: The most recent ice age ended nearly 12,000 years ago. That’s “see-sawing”?

          That’s right. The Earth climate has two equilibrium points, ice and ice-free ages. Orbital variations trigger the change, but are insufficient to explain the degree of change, which is due to positive feedbacks, primarily water vapor and changes in Earth’s albedo.

    “The rollback will eliminate rules on existing sources of atmospheric methane.”

    Professor Know-it-all: what is your source for this conclusion?

      TheFineReport.com: what is your source for this conclusion?

      You can read about it here:

      The existing 2016 rule’s methane requirements applied only to newly built wells, but would have eventually required EPA to regulate the hundreds of thousands of existing wells already drilled around the U.S.

“Press misrepresents…”

Come on. It’s the ‘democrat media.’

Let’s be accurate with the titles.

Obama. Methane.

Same odor.

It’s gotten to the point even caged birds won’t crap on the newspapers.

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