Home / Business / Trump rollbacks for the fossil fuel industry are associated with high costs

Trump rollbacks for the fossil fuel industry are associated with high costs

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) – With the Trump government taking back environmental and safety rules for the energy sector, government forecasts show billions of dollars in savings made by companies at high cost: more premature deaths and illnesses Air pollution, a climate change Warming emissions and greater derailment of trains carrying explosive fuels.

The Associated Press analyzed eleven key rules that Trump should abolish or loosen and used its own estimates of the administration to determine how their actions could spur companies and harm society. [19659002] The AP identified future savings of up to $ 11.6 billion for companies that produce, burn and transport fossil fuels. In the industry, billions of dollars more could be lost because the efficiency standards for vehicles would freeze, leading to an estimated 300 billion liters (300 million liters) increase in fuel consumption.

On the opposite side of the government book buried in the city, thousands of pages of analysis are the "social costs" for resetting the regulations. Among them:


1; Up to 1,400 additional premature deaths every year due to the impending repeal of a regulation to reduce the pollution of coal-fired power plants.

– Increasing greenhouse gas emissions by about 1 billion tonnes (907 million tonnes) from vehicles produced over the next decade – equivalent to an annual emissions of nearly 200 million vehicles.

– Increased risk of water pollution from a drilling method known as fracking.

– Fewer Security Checks to Prevent Coastal Oil Spill

For the Trump administration and its supporters, the rule changes being investigated by AP mark a much-needed path away from the stringent regulations that govern the Republican President's goal, the US increase American energy production, threaten to threaten. However, the results of the AP also underline the government's willingness to put companies' profits before safety considerations and environmental pollution effects.


The AP noted that the administration wanted to support the changes by highlighting and sometimes exaggerating the economic gains while minimizing negative impacts.

In calculating future greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants, the Trump government was only investigating the impact of the US and not the world. This drastically reduced the benefits of emission controls and allowed the government to conclude that the rule of the Obama era was no longer justified given the costs of the coal industry.

In another case, the Environmental Protection Agency would like to waive the secondary benefits of controlling mercury emissions – reducing pollutants that are projected to prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths.

Last month, the AP found that the administration underestimated the benefits of a better brake on crude oil and ethanol trains. Ministry of Transport officials acknowledged that they had miscalculated the potential benefits of up to $ 117 million because they had not considered some planned future derailments.

In explaining their actions, the Trump administration said in some cases that the previous administration had underestimated the price for new industry restraints. Other reports said that Barack Obama's administration was too expansive in defining the benefits to society.

Michael Greenstone, a professor at the University of Chicago who served as Chief Economist for Obama's Advisory Council on Economic Advisers, said the Trump administration rejects its impact on health and the environment.

"When you start falsifying the numbers, it's not that the cost just goes up in the air. We will pay, "said Greenstone. "They lower the costs of industries where pollution is by-product."

The above-mentioned rules were drafted under Obama largely in response to climate change, the disastrous oil spill of the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, massive releases of coal ash chambers and fuel train explosions.


The Trump administration has emphasized that savings for businesses were greater than the threat to safety or the environment.

"We fully recognize every important political decision The consequences can be different," said US Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt to the AP. "I think looking at the bottom line, our deregulation efforts are still pretty protective."

The AP's savings were derived from government projections required in an executive order in 1993. Five of the rule changes are pending.

Regarding toxic coal ash, offshore safety and refinery pollution regulations, the authorities said companies would save hundreds of millions of dollars with little or no additional risk – a claim by former federal officials and environmentalist groups has denied.

The potential savings in the industry have been widely projected over the next decade.

Sectors in the coal industry see the removal of costly rules as a matter of survival as demand for the shift to cleaner fuels has dropped. 19659002] For the oil and gas industry, with annual revenues of several hundred billion dollars, the economic impact of the Obama era rules was comparatively low. However, they were vigorously rejected as restricting the business.

"We need to make sure that we put together rules that are flexible enough to use the latest technologies," said Erik Milito, vice president of the American Petroleum Institute. He said the group is focusing on the question of whether rules make sense and not on cost savings.

Critics say the impact on public health and the environment will be even worse than planned.

"I do not believe it is well understood The death tolls of this policy will be for the American people," said Paul Billings of the American Lung Association.


Two profound changes under Trump – the Rollback of the Clean Power Plan, which threatened to close Many coal-fired power plants and the reversal of plans to increase vehicle fuel efficiency were at the heart of Obama's climate action.

The death of the energy plan would save companies up to $ 6.4 billion, concluded The EPA

The Compromise The carbon dioxide emissions caused by additional carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 amount to nearly 61 million tonnes (55 million tonnes) per year, and the government calculated that these emissions would reach a maximum of 3.2% Billions of dollars of "social costs", such as flood damage and higher air conditioning costs. [19659002] As the companies' savings outweighed the cost of pollution, the administration said the abolition of the energy plan was justified. This conclusion was largely possible because the EPA had limited the social costs to the effects in the US, and not globally as under Obama.

EPA spokeswoman Enesta Jones said the analysis was in line with a 2003 rule by President George W. Bush stating that such reviews should focus on the costs and benefits to the people of the United States

Joe Goffman, a former EPA official who helped create the Clean Power Plan, and now at Harvard Law School, said that renouncing international impact is "out of touch with reality". Climate change is a global problem.

Last month, the Trump government also reduced the cost of pollution in its proposal on mercury emitted by coal-fired power stations.

When the 2012 Mercury Rule was finalized, the EPA predicted a volume of $ 90 billion in benefits, including avoiding up to 11,000 premature deaths from other power plant pollutants.

Now, the EPA says that these benefits could not be considered as they are not directly linked to mercury reductions. The only benefits that should be counted were, according to the agency, improvements in IQ scores due to lower mercury exposure estimated at up to $ 6 million a year.

The National Mining Association had called for the change. Spokesman Conor Bernstein said Obama's EPA has misused the concept of secondary pollution benefits to justify its actions.

The impact of the relapse is unclear as utilities have already spent an estimated $ 18 billion on new pollution controls.

FUEL AND DRILLING SAFETY [19659002] Some experts outside the government are arguing with the reasons for easing the fuel economy rule.

The Trump government says a reduction in standards would save up to 1,000 lives each year, saving consumers and car companies hundreds of billions of dollars for higher-gas mileage vehicles. To reach this conclusion, officials lowered estimates of how many vehicles people would buy.

Economists, including the impartial National Bureau of Economic Research, say, however, that the assumption is fundamentally flawed, as lower levels would make cars cheaper and therefore increase demand. Economists said the government had used misleading findings to destroy a potential social benefit of at least $ 112 billion, falsely claiming that the change would save many lives.

"Any change they made was in the direction of standards being more expensive Rollback looks cheaper and better," said Jeff Alson, who had worked for 40 years in an EPA lab in Michigan. [19659002] Several rules were revised under Trump's ties directly to workers' safety and public safety.

Train brakes at industry costs would be higher than previously calculated, acknowledging that further spillage would likely occur due to derailments.

19659002] According to AP's story about the $ 117 million understatement for the agency, spokesman Bobby Fraser said the decision to repeal the Obama rule would result in even higher costs.

and gas drilling for offshore drilling was passed after the Deepwater Horizon accident, which killed 11 people and 507 million Liters of oil spilled.

The Interior Department says less rigorous inspection and equipment requirements would save drilling companies hundreds of millions of dollars with "negligible" safety and environmental risks.

Lynn Scarlett, Acting Secretary of the Interior under George W. Bush, said the changes ignore the findings of a government commission on the Gulf plague.

This tool has been deliberately designed to reduce risks, "Scarlett said. "If these protections are not in place, there is a risk that action could lead to accidents like Deepwater Horizon."


Follow Matthew Brown at https://twitter.com/matthewbrownap

Source link