If you thought getting rid of Scott Pruitt would slow down Trump’s ongoing destruction of that agency, think again. He put a coal industry lobbyist in charge and the gutting of the agency seems to be accelerating. The agency is now planning to get rid of regulations that limited the amount of methane that can be released into the air.
The Trump administration is poised to roll back existing regulations on methane gas as early as this week, the New York Times reported Monday.
The proposal would weaken an Obama-era requirement that companies must monitor and repair any methane leaks, according to documents the Times reviewed. The new rule is anticipated to allow for far more air pollution and leaks of the gas.
The proposed rule would be the third major step the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made this year to change the way air pollutants are regulated.
Since January, the agency has taken strides to roll back two capstone Obama-era rules that aimed to regulate tailpipe emissions from cars and carbon pollution from coal fired power plants.
Methane is responsible for about 10% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Trump bizarrely believes, and has said many times, that global warming is a hoax invented by the Chinese in order to destroy the American economy, a claim so utterly moronic that it should disqualify you from ever being taken seriously on any issue ever again; in today’s Republican party, it gets you elected. It’s made all the more idiotic by the fact that China is acting very aggressively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and their carbon footprint, while Trump has pulled us out of the Paris accords on the matter and seems intent on increasing our contributions to this literally species-threatening phenomenon rather than decreasing them. Indeed, he seems absolutely crazed in his zeal to put as much pollution into the air and water as possible. This man is literally a threat to our health, if not our very existence.
During the campaign, during a Republican primary debate, Trump promised on the EPA: “We are going to get rid of it in almost every form. We’re going to have little tidbits left, but we’re going to take a tremendous amount out.” And that is exactly what he is doing, piece by piece, rule by rule. Maybe that’s why some 1600 EPA employees have left the agency, most of whom have not been replaced. Why have workers whose job is to protect the environment when they’re eliminating the means for them to achieve that protection?