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California, 19 other states, sue Trump admin for weakening methane rules

September 16/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- California and 19 other states have filed a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration’s decision to weaken curbs on methane emissions from the oil and gas industry, saying the widespread West Coast wildfires should be a reminder of the dangers posed by climate change, said Reuters.

U.S. President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit California to be briefed about its devastating wildfires, while Democratic rival Joe Biden plans a speech on the matter from Delaware, bringing climate change to the forefront of the presidential campaign.

"Our climate emergency is increasingly a public health emergency. The toll of the natural disaster we face from unprecedented wildfires is increasingly measured in human life,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. “How many wake-up calls do our nation‘s leaders need to take climate action?"

The lawsuit targets two policy amendments announced by the Environmental Protection Agency in August that roll back methane emissions curbs on the oil and gas industry and weaken requirements for leak detection. Methane is many times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas when released unburned into the atmosphere.

The lawsuit is California’s 54th against the Trump administration to challenge rollbacks to key environmental protections. California is joined in the lawsuit by 19 other Democrat-led states, including rising oil and gas producer New Mexico, and four districts and municipalities.

Trump, a Republican who pulled the United States out of the Paris accord on global warming because he found it too costly, has made it a priority to boost the domestic drilling industry by slashing regulations. He has blamed poor forest management for the West Coast wildfires.

Democrats have said that climate change plays a role in the fires, and Biden has announced a plan to transition the United States away from fossil fuels to fight global warming.

Earlier this year, as MRC wrote previously, BP said the deadly coronavirus outbreak could cut global oil demand growth by 40 per cent in 2020, putting pressure on Opec producers and Russia to curb supplies to keep prices in check.

And in September 2019, six world's major petrochemical companies in Flanders, Belgium, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, and the Netherlands (Trilateral Region) announced the creation of a consortium to jointly investigate how naphtha or gas steam crackers could be operated using renewable electricity instead of fossil fuels. The Cracker of the Future consortium, which includes BASF, Borealis, BP, LyondellBasell, SABIC and Total, aims to produce base chemicals while also significantly reducing carbon emissions. The companies agreed to invest in R&D and knowledge sharing as they assess the possibility of transitioning their base chemical production to renewable electricity.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's DataScope report, PE imports to Russia dropped in January-June 2020 by 7% year on year to 328,000 tonnes. High density polyethylene (HDPE) accounted for the main decrease in imports. At the same time, PP imports into Russia rose in the first six months of 2020 by 21% year on year to 105,300 tonnes. Propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) accounted for the main increase in imports.


mrcplast.com
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:petroleum products, PP, PE, ethylene, propylene, petrochemistry, British petroleum.
Category:General News
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