Friday, May 12, 2017

I am not surprised by this vote and no one else should be either. The petroleum industry has been completely remiss in protecting human life.

Pruitt's nomination for the EPA was narrowly approved. He should pay attention to that. The Republicans that voted with Democrats knew it was the right thing to do and have political capital. 

May 10, 2017
By Juliet Eilperin and Chelsea Harvey

The site (click here) of the massive natural gas leak, near Los Angeles.

The Senate on Wednesday (click here) narrowly blocked a resolution to repeal an Obama-era rule restricting methane emissions from drilling operations on public lands — with three Republicans joining every Democrat to preserve the rule.

The 51-to-49 vote on a procedural motion marked the first time since Trump’s election that Republicans have failed in their attempt to use the Congressional Review Act to overturn Obama-era rules. Thirteen other resolutions, based on the 1996 law that allows Congress to overturn rules within 60 legislative workdays of their adoption, have succeeded.

Thursday is the deadline for using the Congressional Review Act this way.

The methane emissions rule, issued by the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management in November, addresses a potent greenhouse gas that is accelerating climate change.

The rule would force oil and gas companies to capture methane that had been previously burned off or “flared” at drilling sites. According to federal estimates, the rule would prevent roughly 180,000 tons a year of methane from escaping into the atmosphere and would boost federal revenue between $3 million and $13 million a year because firms only pay royalties on the oil and gas they capture and contain.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) unexpectedly voted no against a motion to proceed with consideration of the resolution, along with GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.). Two Democrats who had considered backing the rule’s elimination — Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia — voted against the motion, and sent a letter asking Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to make it less burdensome....

The California leak was the largest in USA history.

...On Wednesday California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency and called for "all necessary and viable actions" to stop it.
More than 10,000 people have been moved from their homes and many people have reported nausea and headaches.
A further estimated 7,000 are now in the evacuation process, according to SoCal Gas....
The leak displaced an entire town and buildings had to be closed. If that isn't enough the area was highly explosive and the gas company lucked out nothing exploded. I can only imagine the emergency managers running around turning off every lit gas flame in every oven or water heater in the city. IT WAS CRAZY!
And what did Southern Cal say? "It says the gas being pumped into the atmosphere, which includes methane, is not a threat to public safety."

The corruption under Pruitt is thicker than pea soup.

February 22, 2017
By Alexander C. Kaufman, Ben Walsh, Chris D'Angelo

...The public release of the emails (click here) was ordered last week by a judge in Oklahoma and comes just five days after the Senate narrowly voted to confirm Pruitt as EPA administrator. Pruitt’s nomination faced fierce protests from environmentalists and some Democrats, who argued that his confirmation vote should be delayed until after the release of the emails.

The emails reveal a chummy relationship between Pruitt and the companies whose pollution he’s now tasked with reining in. The document dump sheds new light on Pruitt’s frequent strategizing with Devon Energy Corporation, the Oklahoma City-based oil and gas giant. Pruitt’s ties to the company, uncovered in a similar email dump published in 2014 by The New York Times, became a flashpoint during his confirmation process. In particular, critics railed against Pruitt’s 2011 decision to allow the company to write a three-page complaint to the EPA under his letterhead....