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Energy & Environmental News and Discussions

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Trump Administration Seeking To Overhaul Forest Management Rules

Source: npr.org

June 12, 201912:30 PM ET

A logger cuts a large fir tree in the Umpqua National Forest near Oakridge, Ore. Federal land managers are proposing a sweeping rule change that could expand commercial logging on Forest Service land.
Don Ryan/AP

Federal land managers on Wednesday will propose sweeping rule changes to a landmark environmental law that would allow them to fast-track certain forest management projects, including logging and prescribed burning.

The U.S. Forest Service, under Chief Vicki Christiansen, is proposing revisions to the National Environmental Policy Act that could limit environmental review and public input on projects ranging from forest health and wildfire mitigation to infrastructure upgrades to commercial logging on federal land.

"We do more analysis than we need, we take more time than we need and we slow down important work to protect communities," Christiansen told NPR.

The proposed rule changes include an expansion of "categorical exclusions." These are often billed as tools that give land managers the discretion to bypass full-blown environmental studies in places where they can demonstrate there would be no severe impacts or degradation to the land.

According to the government's own analysis — the last done in 2010 during the Obama administration — fewer than one-fifth of all timber and forest projects are appealed by citizens or environmental groups though. A bigger holdup is budget cuts, particularly in the Forest Service, where money has been diverted away from wildlife, habitat and forestry programs to pay for the skyrocketing costs of wildfire suppression........................................


Read more: https://www.npr.org/...anagement-rules




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Well, that's funny. I was under the impression we're facing a global planetary emergency, caused by gargantuan amounts of human-emitted carbon, which may very well trigger the collapse of modern civilisation this century. I guess "The Market" knows best, eh?




Shell to invest at least $397 million in Mexican deepwater oil projects


June 11, 2019 / 7:02 PM / 5 days ago


MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico’s independent oil regulator on Tuesday approved deepwater energy exploration plans for five areas operated by Royal Dutch Shell Plc in Mexican waters near the maritime border with the United States.

The plans commit the Anglo-Dutch oil major to invest at least $397 million (£312 million) over the next four years, but if the drilling proves successful it could grow to some $1.316 billion, according to the regulator, known as the National Hydrocarbons Commission, or CNH.

Four of the areas are located in the Perdido Fold Basin, where significant oil and gas activity exists on the U.S. side, as well as one area further south in the Salina Basin.

At least four wells are planned in the areas during the exploration phase of the contracts, but the plans also account for the possibility of as many as eight, with drilling to begin as soon as the fourth quarter of this year and extending through late 2022.






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Ohio Nuclear Power Saves Lives and Money
Brian Wang | June 13, 2019


Ohio has had power generation that has been over 60% coal power for decades. It was 80% coal power.

Nuclear power has been generating 14% or more of the electricity in Ohio. Until recently it is clear that if Ohio did not have nuclear energy then that power would have come from coal power.

15–17 TWh of clean electricity every year instead of coal. Ohio nuclear plants started operation in 1978 and 1987.






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EPA rolls back Obama-era plan limiting coal-fired power plant emissions

Source: CNN

Washington (CNN)The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday said states can set their own carbon emissions standards for coal-fired power plants -- a rule that the agency itself says could result in 1,400 more premature deaths by 2030 than the Obama-era plan it will replace.

The move fulfills part of President Donald Trump's promise to help the coal industry, but will likely face court challenges from environmental groups and several states who see the rollback as detrimental to clean air and efforts to fight the climate crisis.

Former President Barack Obama's plan, if implemented, would have prevented 3,600 premature deaths a year, 1,700 heart attacks and 90,000 asthma attacks, according to analysis conducted by the EPA under his tenure.

The Obama Clean Power Plan was set to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to the climate crisis, by up to 32% compared to 2005 levels by the same year.

In an initial announcement about the proposal last summer, the Trump EPA labeled Obama's plan as "overly prescriptive and burdensome." Instead, the administration says the plan rule "instead empowers states, promotes energy independence, and facilitates economic growth and job creation," the release states.

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler said at the time the Obama Clean Power Plan "exceeded the agency's legal authority" and he argued that the old regulations led to rising energy prices, which have "hurt low- and middle-income Americans the most."



Read more: https://www.cnn.com/...x.html?adkey=bn

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