Republican attack on the environment

Trump protects red states only in offshore drilling ban

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Ten-year moratorium leaves out North Carolina and Virginia:

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday in Florida imposing a 10-year moratorium on offshore drilling in waters from Florida to South Carolina, leaving North Carolina open to potential activity.

Under the order, leases of areas along the coasts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina for the purposes of offshore exploration or development are prohibited between July 1, 2022, and June 30, 2032. What is not clear is why the order omits North Carolina and Virginia, where residents have been vocally opposed to offshore drilling, often citing the potential impact to fisheries and coastal tourism.

Oh, it's clear as a bell. DeSantis, Kemp, and McMaster are all Republicans, while Cooper and Northam are Democrats. Nobody wants that shit anywhere near their beaches, but when you've got a partisan hack like Trump making these calls, punishing states who (even moderately) support the other party is fair game. Here's more from the Southern Environmental Law Center:

Notes from the Kakistocracy: Andrew Wheeler just might be an idiot

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Asking Chemours to make a newer, safer forever chemical:

Andrew Wheeler, the administrator of the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said on Monday the Chemours Co. chemical plant near Fayetteville should switch production to a newer, less dangerous form of the controversial PFAS chemical.

The roundtable is being held by U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson, R-N.C. The meeting includes several local elected officials, a Cumberland County deputy manager, and members of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) were invited, officials said later Monday.

Guess what, Einstein? GenX is the newer and supposedly safer chemical. It was developed to replace C8, after DuPont lost a massive lawsuit related to the contamination of the Ohio River and the poisoning of local residents:

Coal Ash Wednesday: Here we go again

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Duke Energy wants increased rates to pay for coal ash cleanup:

Duke Energy is urging state regulators to approve rate increases at its two North Carolina electric utilities, including money to pay for cleanups of toxic coal ash.

Duke treasurer Karl Newlin told the North Carolina Utilities Commission Monday that if the company isn't allowed to recover coal ash cleanup costs, it could lead to a downgrade in its credit ratings and scare off investors. His testimony came during the first day of a public hearing on the proposed rate increases that are being conducted online.

Not to put too fine a point on it, that "credit ratings" scare tactic is a load of crap. But before I explain why, here's Lynn Good from their 2020 Q2 Earnings call:

Insane in the Methane: Trump scraps rules on natural gas leaks

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Bad news for those concerned about climate change:

The Trump administration is scrapping limits on methane leaks, allowing oil and gas companies to decide how much of the potent greenhouse gas can escape into the atmosphere from wells, pipelines and storage tanks.

The new rules, issued Thursday by the Office of Management and Budget, effectively rescind the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to regulate methane, the largest component of natural gas. Although it dissipates faster than carbon dioxide, methane is estimated to be at least 25 times and as much as 80 times more potent in terms of trapping heat in the atmosphere.

Just a clarification: Methane doesn't actually "dissipate," it converts to carbon dioxide after about nine years of exposure to oxygen. But during that short atmospheric life cycle, it traps heat like a bandit. Which helps trigger the dissolution of methane clathrates in the oceans and permafrost, putting even more methane into the atmosphere. It's a perfect climate change storm, and Trump is pulling all the stops out:

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