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A two-minute hate for methane

11 Sep 2019 | News Roundup

Apparently the Trump Administration is rolling back the rules on methane even though according to the New York Times, the industry doesn’t want it to. And since methane is 80 times more potent a GHG than CO2 (or 30, or 84, or 86, or 104 times depending who you Google, the science being settled) it’s the end of the world. Imagine how awful Trump must be to force the energy industry to destroy the planet against its will. Except the industry’s position is more about destroying competition than saving the Earth.

AP says it’s not strictly true that industry doesn’t want this change. Evidently the strict Obama-era rules about monitoring methane leaks are especially hard on small operators so big ones like Royal Dutch Shell like them. And apparently the ruling is either (a) to reduce the excessive regulatory burden on American industry or (b) “the umpteenth iteration of the EPA's exercise to define away its Clean Air Act authority ... to address air pollution and greenhouse gases" depending whether you believe current or former EPA officials.

No prize for guessing who AP believes. Journalists rarely meet a regulation they don’t like and when it comes to climate it’s even rarer. That it might be redundant, unimportant or poorly drafted just isn’t a consideration. Government doesn’t do that kind of thing, right?

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