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Why are we having this big hoo-rah?
The deadly natural gas debate, in many forms
PRESENTED BY HUMPHREY PLOUGHJOGGER
LIVE FROM LVIV: As Russia seizes Europe’s largest nuclear plant in a dangerous assault, there are now greater sanctions on Russian cats than on Russian fossil fuels. The Biden White House is pushing back against bipartisan calls from Congress for a ban on Russian oil imports. A global coalition of civil-society organizations is calling for the world’s top financial institutions—who they’re calling the Putin 100—to cut off financing for Russian oil, gas, and coal interests.
E&E News’ Peter Behr has an article on how U.S. oil and gas industry is trying to exploit the war for their gain, but climate advocates Kierán Suckling and Tyson Slocum are a bit outnumbered by the oil and gas industry advocates in the piece. Behr somehow failed to mention that both of the academic experts he quotes, David Victor from the University of California, San Diego, and Pierre Noël, global research scholar at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy, are financed by the oil and gas industry. Guess what: they both say that more fossil fuels are needed!
As discussed yesterday, Senate Energy Committee chair Joe Manchin held a hearing to excoriate the FERC commissioners for their recent ruling that takes methane pollution into account for natural gas projects. The attacks from Manchin and Republican members went as expected.1 The only member who acted like a climate hawk was Sen. Angus King of Maine, who was a renewable-energy executive for decades in the state before becoming governor and then senator.
“Here we are saying FERC can't require the examination of the most serious environmental threat this country and world has ever faced,” King expounded. “I think that's preposterous!”
“I've talked to representatives of the industry. They say don't worry about methane, they’ve got it under control. Then what are they worried about? Why are we having this big hoo-rah to try to pressure you guys to back off what to me is a common sense regulation? . . . I want to keep New Orleans above sea level! I want to keep New Orleans from being sunk! We're talking about a foot of sea level rise in the next 30 years!”
The other Democrats who bothered to show up for the hearing—Martin Heinrich, John Hickenlooper, Catherine Cortez Masto, and Mazie Hirono—took a much more lawyerly “middle ground” approach, calling this an example of reliable, clear rules that help the industry, real inspiring stuff that rises to the crisis.
More in Clean and Safe Natural Gas
Building goes boom.
Miraculously, everyone survived the catastrophic explosion, unlike the apartment-building gas explosion that killed seven in 2016 a few miles away.
La-La methane leaks.
“Living near an oil well brings exposure to air pollution that is correlated with a higher risk of miscarriage, asthma, respiratory disease, and cancer.” Learn about the end of oil drilling in Los Angeles, from the New Yorker’s Emily Witt:
“Like most climate-change policy, however, there’s a tendency toward procrastination that softens the emergency, that puts off the changes until next year or the year after that.”
If your friend is a Weird Tweeter, check for long-term gas poisoning, please. A tale in tweets.
For about a year, @poisonjr had been posting increasingly strange tweets.
It turned out these weren’t merely quirky musings, but a bizarre side effect of sleeping next to a gas leak:
Moral: yet another reason to ban natural gas hookups.
Let’s close the week with good news: Climate hawk Jainey Bavishi, former director of the NYC Office of Climate Resiliency, was nominated last August to be the NOAA Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere. Bavishi participated in community-led Katrina disaster relief and worked on climate resiliency in the Obama administration. Her nomination was finally advanced yesterday by the Commerce Committee to the full Senate.