On Tuesday, Accountable.US’s Western Values Project director Jayson O’Neill joined the This Green Earth syndicated broadcast to discuss the latest ruling by a district judge on the commonsense Methane Waste Prevention Rule. Under the corporate activist judge’s ruling, methane natural gas — one of the most destructive greenhouse gases that is 86 times more powerful than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period — is again unregulated and being wastefully flared and vented by oil and gas corporations with impunity.
The case may end up before a Supreme Court that could include Trump’s nominee Amy Coney Barrett, who has a record of siding with corporations 76% of the time and has troubling, unresolved connections to Big Oil giant Shell Oil.
“This is just the type of pro-corporate judicial activism we can expect from Amy Coney Barrett if she is confirmed. An overwhelming majority of the time, Barrett rules in favor of wealthy corporate interests over the health, safety, and pocketbooks of American families. The wildfires ravaging the West and the hurricanes pummeling our coasts are just small symptoms of the worsening climate crisis. We can no longer ignore the negative and devastating impact of climate change on our public lands, public health, and livelihoods,” said Western Values Project director Jayson O’Neill.
In 2016, under the Obama administration, the Bureau of Land Management established the Methane Waste Prevention Rule in an attempt to curb the wasteful and harmful practice. The rule phased-in reductions of flaring and venting, increased inspection for leaks, and required basic upgrades to old and inefficient equipment. The methane waste releases harmful air pollutants that are impacting the health of nearby communities. Often, frontline communities affected worst are communities of color.
Unfortunately, being responsible to the environment doesn’t seem to be in Big Oil or Trump’s lexicon of understanding. The Trump administration has been trying to void the rule since day one in order to reward his wealthy donors. According to a 2014 study by Western Values Project, without the BLM rule, the oil and gas industry would forgo up to $800 million in royalty payments over the next decade.
Check out October 20th‘s installment of This Green Earth featuring Jayson O’Neill here to learn more about the harmful effects of methane natural gas and just how dangerous this ruling could be.