This is the price we pay for electing a dangerous idiot:
The Environmental Protection Agency is set to announce Thursday that it will loosen federal rules on methane, a powerful greenhouse gas linked to climate change, according to two senior administration officials.
The proposed rule will reverse standards enacted under former president Barack Obama that require oil and gas operations to install controls on their operations to curb the release of methane at the well head and in their transmission equipment, including pipelines, processing and storage facilities.
I just had a debate with a friend over the fugitive Methane problem, which is why these numbers are already in my head: We've got 2.4 million miles of pipelines in the U.S. alone, and some 1.1 million active oil & gas wells in some stage of operation. This rule was a critical step in reducing greenhouse gases, but Trump doesn't care about any of that. He's like an angry toddler breaking some other kid's toys:
Environmentalists threatened to fight the Trump administration’s move in court.
“This reckless rollback highlights the Trump administration’s complete contempt for our climate,” said Kassie Siegel, director of the Climate Law Institute at the Center for Biological Diversity, an advocacy group. “The EPA is now so determined to actually increase greenhouse pollution that it’s even shrugging off concerns from oil and gas companies about gutting these protections. Fracked gas is a climate killer, and Trump’s rash embrace of this dirty stuff showcases the need for the next president to commit to a rapid phase-out of fossil fuels.”
The Obama administration’s push to impose the first-ever limits on methane emissions from the oil and gas industry in 2016 came shortly after the EPA found that emissions were on an upswing at a time when booming U.S. shale oil and gas drilling had dramatically driven down prices for domestic natural gas and global oil alike.
Methane emissions were on an "upswing" for two big reasons: Tens of thousands of new fracked gas wells were drilled, and they were drilled as cheaply as possible to stay profitable with dropping prices. Instead of the industry improving its handling of fugitive emissions with new technology derived from experience, it got worse. That's when regulation is not only called for, but desperately needed.