Tuesday, November 30, 2021

EPA Revisiting Soot Standards It Previously Found Adequate

The administration of President Joe Biden has announced it was reconsidering national soot standards that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had determined in 2020 adequately protected public health.

Imposing stricter soot-standards would allow the administration to indirectly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and industrial facilities, without having to get legislative approval.

Changes Reject Scientific Findings

The EPA is considering lowering annual average exposure standard for Particulate Matter (PM) from 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air to as low as 8 micrograms, and the 24-hour standard from 35 micrograms down to 30 micrograms.

A careful review of the existing scientific data concerning the links between existing PM standards and public health, carried out as required by law under the Trump administration, found current standard adequately protected public health.

Citing no new data, the EPA’s draft policy assessment now finds long- and short-term exposure to soot or PM, at current levels, is associated with adverse health effects. As a result, EPA has concluded the current standards must be tightened in order to protect the public.

The change in the EPA’s scientific assessment is likely to result in many areas falling out of attainment of the 1970 Clean Air Act.

Earlier Data Driven Decision

On April 14, 2020, the EPA announced, that after carefully reviewing the best available evidence, the agency would retain, without changes, the existent standards for soot.

“Based on review of the scientific literature and recommendation from our independent science advisors, we are proposing to retain existing [PM] standards which will ensure the continued protection of both public health and the environment.” said Andrew Wheeler, EPA administrator in a statement at the time of the decision.

EPA’s decision to maintain PM standards at existing levels in 2020 was based on science, said Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) press release issued at the time.

“EPA’s decision is scientifically justified and will promote economic recovery and growth,” said Flores. “The EPA’s decision to retain current [PM] standards, without changes, rightly reflects the long-term trend data of dramatically decreased particulate matter as well as the needs of our state and local governments.”

EPA Undermining Science

The obtain its climate policy goals the Biden administration upending its science advisory board and science standards, says John Dale Dunn, a physician, lawyer, and a policy advisor for The Heartland Institute, which co-publishes Environment & Climate News.

“The EPA’s goal is to change a number of air pollution standards and to reconstitute the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC),” Dunn said. “There’s a lawsuit in motion filed by a number of members of the former CASAC, who like me, are upset the EPA is throwing away good scientific analyses for bulls— political reasons”


Scottish policy: Encourage rapid and extensive forestry. Scottish reality: Forests in Scotland can be net emitters of greenhouse gases

Greenie idiocy causes bogs to be preferred to trees

When Jeremy Leggett bought the 1,200-acre Bunloit Estate, overlooking Loch Ness, he discovered an inconvenient truth. A green and pleasant place, with extensive woodlands — the kind most people assume will help to save the planet — was, in fact, doing the opposite. His calculations found that it was a net source of greenhouse-gas emissions; far from curbing climate change, Bunloit was encouraging it.

The problem Leggett identified was trees: too many of them, planted in the wrong place, preventing the magnificent peatland beneath from doing the job it is best at: absorbing carbon emissions. He set about cutting down his conifer plantations.

One of the most comprehensive-ever assessments of the carbon held on a Scottish estate has shown that rewilding the landscape to its natural state could help it store more carbon and increase biodiversity.

The Bunloit Estate covers 1200 acres in the hills above Loch Ness.

By using drone-mounted lasers to scan trees and surveying the extent and depth of peat, scientists were able to measure the amount of stored carbon.

They found the estate held the equivalent of 1.234 million tonnes of carbon.

That's the roughly 2% of Scotland's annual carbon footprint.

The analysis has already led to radical action, with some trees being cut down for the good of the planet.

Figures showed peatland covered in commercial spruce plantations was so dry and damaged that it was releasing more greenhouse gases than the trees were absorbing.

By felling the spruce and allowing the peat to return to its natural boggy state there would be a net benefit of 60,000 tonnes of carbon stored over the next 100 years.

Nicola Williamson, a ranger on the estate, told Sky News: "It's a bit counter-intuitive.

"But we have to take down plantations planted in the wrong places like our peatland bogs and restore that as a habitat in itself.

"And we have to manage our woodlands better so they are meeting biodiversity targets."

Camera traps on the estate show there are already pine martens, red squirrel, and wild boar.

But restoring more mixed woodland would encourage a broad range of species to thrive.

Bunloit is at the eastern end of what could be a 500,000 acre forest stretching all the way to the Atlantic.

The project is being driven by the charity Trees for Life, which says a quarter of the estates in the Affric Highlands area have signed up.


Michigan Gov. Whitmer Sparks an International Pipeline Dispute between the United States

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is doubling-down on her efforts to shut down a key oil and natural gas liquids pipeline running between Superior, Wisconsin and Sarnia, Ontario.

Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline traverses parts of northern Wisconsin, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and the 4.5-mile-long floor of the Straights of Mackinac connecting Lakes Michigan and Lake Huron. Line 5 has for nearly 70 years safely transported hydrocarbons from western Canada to markets in the Great Lakes region of the United States.

Line 5 moves more than a half a million barrels of oil and natural gas liquids a day throughout the Great Lakes region.

Shutdown or Not

Whitmer ordered Line 5’s twin pipelines to shut down in 2020, saying they pose a grave threat to the Great Lakes because of the possibility of oil spills.

Enbridge, the Calgary-based company that operates the pipeline, refused, saying Whitmer lacked the legal authority to unilaterally order the closure of the pipeline which is involved in interstate and international commerce.

Canada asked the Biden administration to intervene and overrule Whitmer, invoking a dispute-resolution article of a 1977 treaty governing pipelines between it and the United States.

In a letter to U.S. District Judge for Western Michigan Janet Neff, Gordon Griffin, a lawyer representing the Canadian government, cited an article in the treaty which states: “No public authority in the territory of either Party shall institute any measures … which are intended to, or which have the effect of, impeding, diverting, redirecting, or interfering with in any way the transmission of hydrocarbons in transit.”

Whitmer Remains Defiant

Whitmer pointed to a 2010 incident at a separate Enbridge pipeline that ruptured in southwestern Michigan to support her claim that Line 5 pipeline should be permanently closed because it threatens the Great Lakes’ unique environmental amenities.

“So long as oil is flowing through the pipelines, there is a very real threat of a catastrophic oil spill in the Great Lakes,” said Whitmer in a statement. “I have made clear to Enbridge that is cannot use our state-owned lakebed for these pipelines, but Enbridge has refused to stop. “Moreover, rather than taking steps to diversify energy supply and ensure resilience, Canada has channeled its efforts into defending an oil company with an abysmal environmental track record,” Whitmer said.

Enbridge paid a stiff fine for the 2010 incident and remediated the affected area.

In a 2021 analysis of the pipeline, the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the federal agency responsible for overseeing Line 5, said it is “presently aware of no unsafe or hazardous conditions that would warrant shutdown of Line 5.”

The bilateral dispute is playing out in the wake of the Biden administration’s cancellation earlier this year of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have brought crude oil from northeastern Alberta to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

That move cost thousands of jobs in both countries and brought a public rebuke protest from the Canadian government to the then newly installed Biden administration.

“A Green Political Stunt”

Pipelines are regulated by the federal government, including the right of eminent domain, for good reason, because the Constitution delegates to Congress the sole authority to regulation interstate commerce,” says David Wojick, Ph.D., an independent energy analyst who often writes for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), co-publisher of Environment & Climate News.

“Pipelines are the embodiment of interstate commerce, often passing through several states in order to serve many,” Wojick said. “In this case, the pipeline is not just interstate; it is international.

“We work closely with Canada; for instance, cars are manufactured in Sarnia for the U.S. market,” said Wojick. “Michigan’s action is nothing more than a green political stunt.”

Policies Contradict Stated Goals

The efforts by Whitmer and the Biden administration to shut down pipelines and end oil and gas use undermine their stated goals of creating jobs and growing the economy, says Jason Hayes, director of environmental policy at Michigan’s Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

“Both the Whitmer and the Biden administrations appear confused,” said Hayes. “Biden claims he wants to ‘build back better,’ and Whitmer, through her ‘MI New Economy Plan’ claims she wants to grow Michigan’s middle class and support its small businesses, but their energy policies are doing the exact opposite.

“Biden cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline in his first days in office and his administration has chosen to remain on the sidelines as Whitmer’s crusade against Line 5 threatens to spike energy prices and actually harms our relationship with Canada, America’s largest trading partner,” Hayes said.

Whitmer and Biden have options that are better for the environment and the economy, says Hayes.

“This is all so unnecessary, because both Biden and Whitmer could focus their administrations on building the Line 5 tunnel,” said Hayes. “Doing this would better protect the waterways of the Great Lakes and maintain an essential piece of the nation’s energy infrastructure.

“Instead, Whitmer appears blindly committed to raising energy prices and putting tens of thousands of Midwesterners out of work, and, for his part, Biden appears content to go on bended knee to Vladimir Putin and the leaders of OPEC asking them to act to bring more oil supplies to the market as he simultaneously squeezes the life out of the American oil and gas industry,” Hayes said.


Australia: Family moves to Canberra to escape ‘atrocious’ temperatures in Western Sydney

She might be disappointed. Canberra is pretty hot in summer

Sydney has always been a hot place. As Watkin Tench recorded, it got so hot in 1790 (Yes. 1790. not 1970) that birds and bats were falling out of the trees dead. And that was in coastal Sydney. Inland has always been even hotter. So the lady's claim that she is escaping anthropogenic climate change is tendentious. There were no SUVs or power stations in 1790

An Australian climate scientist who specialises in heatwaves has told of how she moved her family to a new city to escape “atrocious” temperatures due to climate change.

University of NSW climate scientist Dr Sarah Perkins-Kirkpatrick shared her story in the documentary series Life at 50 Degrees, available to stream on Flash News.

The mother of two said she was so concerned about the extreme temperatures her family endured where they lived in western Sydney, that she made the decision to relocate.

“I have experienced days of 45 and 47 degrees celsius and that was appalling, it was atrocious. You couldn’t do anything,” Dr Perkins-Kirkpatrick said. “The only way we could stay cool in Western Sydney was to have the aircon running all day and that was a hard thing for me to do.”

She said she made the extreme decision to move her family to Canberra, where the climate is much cooler, for her daughters, aged 2 and 4.

“It really bothers me that the world that they’re experiencing now is a lot different from my childhood,” she said.

“During my first pregnancy, it was so hot that I actually struggled to put the washing on the line. “While I was literally about to bring this child into the world, I was thinking what will the summers be like for her in the future.”

According to Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub, temperatures in Western Sydney already experience 10 degrees higher than in the city’s eastern suburbs. The region’s local government areas (LGAs) including Penrith, where Dr Perkins-Kirkpatrick was living, are expected to be the worst affected with a forecast of an average of four extra days of extreme heat by around 2050.

The climate scientist said the outlook for the area forced her to take action and make the move. “As a scientist, I know how bad the future looks. I understand all that, I comprehend all that. That’s what I do for a living,” she said.

“But as a mum, as a person, as a human being, I really struggle with just how bad those impacts will be.”


My other blogs. Main ones below

http://dissectleft.blogspot.com (DISSECTING LEFTISM )

http://edwatch.blogspot.com (EDUCATION WATCH)

http://pcwatch.blogspot.com (POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH)

http://australian-politics.blogspot.com (AUSTRALIAN POLITICS)

http://snorphty.blogspot.com/ (TONGUE-TIED)


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