President Trump continues attack on the environment

Of all the greenhouse gases, methane is one of the most potent because it so efficiently absorbs heat in Earth’s atmosphere. It is dozens of times greater at warming the Earth than carbon dioxide.

That is why the Obama administration instituted rules that forced oil and gas companies to restrict methane emissions.

President Trump is targeting those rules, which require oil and natural gas companies to install technology to detect and reduce leaks at wellheads and during transportation. Natural gas, while burning much cleaner than coal or gasoline, has a high methane content. That’s why stopping the escape of natural gas into the air during extraction and transmission is so important.

Even some of the world’s biggest oil companies say the restrictions shouldn’t be lifted.

But Trump, in his disjointed and failing approach to improve the economy, thinks lifting the rules will put money into the economy. While he believes the move would help some of the energy companies he is so tied to, it would dangerously increase global warming while the Earth is already burning.

And it ignores the economic impact of global warming, which has already shredded tourism as oceans rise and has created ever bigger bills to cover damage from increasingly dangerous storms.

And limiting leaks makes economic sense for energy companies, which in the past lost millions of dollar a day in natural gas released into the atmosphere.

While the rest of the world is far past arguing about whether human-made climate change is real, Trump and other global warming deniers continue to push for going backward in the hopes of economically benefiting a few major corporations.

Trump’s horrible idea to roll back methane rules faces contentious court battles. Hopefully the idea will die there. But the fact he is proposing it is just another piece of evidence of his disdain for the environment and future generations.

— The Free Press of Mankato