AP: Trump rollbacks for fossil fuel industries carry steep cost for people and planet

According to this piece by Billings, Montana-based Associated Press writer Matthew Brown:

As the Trump administration rolls back environmental and safety rules for the energy sector, government projections show billions of dollars in savings reaped by companies will come at a steep cost: more premature deaths and illnesses from air pollution, a jump in climate-warming emissions and more severe derailments of trains carrying explosive fuels.

The Associated Press analyzed 11 major rules targeted for repeal or relaxation under Trump, using the administration’s own estimates to tally how its actions would boost businesses and harm society.

Just check out this list of regulation for the oil, gas and coal industry. Many of these regulations impact resource extraction on America’s federal public lands, one way or another.

According to the Associated Press: Under President Donald Trump, federal agencies have moved to roll back regulations for companies that extract, transport and burn oil, gas and coal. Government analyses show companies will save billions of dollars in compliance costs, but the trade-off often will be adverse impacts to public health and the environment.

See the full list here.

The AP identified up to $11.6 billion in potential future savings for companies that extract, burn and transport fossil fuels. Industry windfalls of billions of dollars more could come from a freeze in vehicle efficiency standards that will yield an estimated 79 billion-gallon (300 million-liter) increase in fuel consumption.

On the opposite side of the government’s ledger, buried in thousands of pages of analyses, are the “social costs” of rolling back the regulations. Among them:

Up to 1,400 additional premature deaths annually due to the pending repeal of a rule to cut coal plant pollution.

An increase in greenhouse gas emissions by about 1 billion tons (907 million metric tons) from vehicles produced over the next decade — a figure equivalent to annual emissions of almost 200 million vehicles.

Increased risk of water contamination from a drilling technique known as “fracking.”

— Fewer safety checks to prevent offshore oil spills.

But, hey, “Make America Great Again,” right?

6 thoughts on “AP: Trump rollbacks for fossil fuel industries carry steep cost for people and planet”

  1. Is this a “things about national forests ” news site or a “bad things that Trump does” news site? Because there seem to be plenty of the latter.. e.g. AP, WaPo and so.

    • Excuse me, Sharon?

      This blog clearly says it’s about “topics related to the Forest Service and public lands policy.”

      The AP article and investigation has a huge focus on Trump’s rollbacks to environmental and safety rules that directly are about, or directly impact, USFS and public lands policy.

      It only becomes a news site for “bad things that Trump does” because, according to the AP investigation, Trump is doing back things in regards to public lands and energy policy that will negatively impact people and the planet we live on. Jeez….

  2. Matthew, it is true that energy policy affects public lands. And we have certainly touched upon it. I spend a lot of time reading about climate and energy.. those controversies make ours look like small potatoes. As a Coloradan, I know that there are websites devoted to topics like fracking and water controversies. To fairly depict both sides of those issues would take a lot more energy from us. It’s not something we know from experience mostly (other than those of us who have reviewed EIS’s for coal and oil and gas development.) so we can’t bring our own experiences and knowledge to bear. So we would be believing whatever writers write or ignoring them, and not necessarily having a quality conversation.

    • Sharon: I suspect that their are a fair number of contributors, commenters and readers of this blog who DO, in fact, have their own year’s of experience related to public lands oil and gas, coal and mineral development. The same is true of climate change issues and policy. So I respectfully disagree. I also think an in-depth investigation of what the public lands and energy-related rollbacks of the current administration by the ASSOCIATED PRESS (A U.S.-based not-for-profit news agency that was founded in 1846) is worthy of a look, and some of our consideration. Remember, nearly 25% of all U.S. carbon emissions come from energy development on America’s public lands. So when this blog talks about more ‘forest-specific’ issues like wildfires, historic vs natural conditions, climate change, changes in forest species and composition, etc a lot of that discussion does tie back quite strongly to energy development on pubic lands, whether some want to admit or acknowledge that, or not.

  3. In my “belief system,” the AP had higher standards than the current administration. Maybe you need to look at the current documentary on Roy Cohen.

  4. In my “belief system,” the AP had higher standards than the current administration. Maybe you need to look at the current documentary on Roy Cohen.


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