Trump Administration Takes Action on Gas Flares and Leaks

by Luciano DiElsi

The Trump administration is attempting to remove Obama era rules on how gas and oil companies deal with methane leaks, gas flares, and oil leaks. When drilling and fracking occur the pipelines used to extract the gas or oil often times leak; In the case of fracking, additional pockets can open within the earth between the gas suppositories and surface away theses are called gas flares. Before the Obama Administration these flares were allowed to spew out millions of gallons of resources into the atmosphere increasing greenhouse emissions and wasting precious domestic resources. When Obama took office, he set forth a number of provisions which forced the gas and oil industry to recapture and put into circulation the gas and oil ordinarily lost in flare offs and leaks. The Obama administration framed the plan as a win-win, greenhouse emissions were drastically reduced and the oil gas industries profited from the recaptured gas and oil.

However, in recent weeks the Trump administration has sought to lift these provisions clamming that the cost of recapturing the gas flares and oil leaks have turned out to be higher than sales received for the recaptured gas. The Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals gave this quote, “In order to achieve energy dominance through responsible energy production, we need smart regulations not punitive regulations,” said Joe Balash, assistant secretary for land and minerals management. “We believe this proposed rule strikes that balance and will allow job growth in rural America.”

Currently the Secretary of Bureuer of Land Management Ryan Zinke is facing a number of attempts to block the proposal from the Trump Administration. Critics of the proposal are demanding that a serious explanation and detailed reasoning be set down on why the Obama Provisions should be replaced which would result in an increase of greenhouse Emissions.

The natural gas industry in the state of Pennsylvania would be greatly impacted by this legislature both economically and environmentally, what are your guys thoughts? Do you think the lifting of cost incurred by the gas and oil industry under the Obama Administration would result in job growth in rural America? And if the provision is lifted and job growth increase would it offset the millions of gallons of lost resources? And lost royalty fees for the American tax payer?


3 thoughts on “Trump Administration Takes Action on Gas Flares and Leaks

  1. I do believe that removing the Obama administrations’ policies would result in more jobs for Americans because less policies could contribute to more less environmentally friendly jobs. By doing this, our environment will be affected. Like Luke said earlier in his post, fracking and oil consumption does have negative effects like leaks. As discussed in last weeks post, fracking could negatively affect our drinking water and permanently affect our environment. I think that the Trump administration is not considering the environment when they plan on lifting the Obama administrations old policies and legislature. I believe that the Trump administration is so focused on removing all legislature that the Obama administration had purposed while in office just due to the polarization between administrations. I think that the environment should be considered more when lifting these polices, it would be great to benefit our economy and get Americans working but we can not put our environment at risk for that.

  2. In light of what we’ve been talking about in class this week, I think this is a very interesting article. When quoted, the representatives from the Trump administration cited the economic costs of the Obama era rules. When originally proposing these rules, the Obama administration cited both the environmental impacts and the potential economic benefits. In my opinion, it’s clear to see that Trump is just playing to his base. As Julia said, he knows his supporters want him to reverse any legislation or rules made by the Obama administration. He also knows if he cites the economic costs and the potential for job creation as his reasoning for reversing this rule, his base will fully support him. I do however think this is a mistake. Even if more jobs are created, I do not see how it would be beneficial. There are obvious negative effects for the environment that would far outweigh the possibility of job creation. Why can’t the federal government invest in alternative energy sources as a means of creating jobs? I think the interesting part of this story will be to see if Trump can actually do it with all of the blocks that have already been put in front of him and the blocks that are still to come.

  3. Cutting corners with environmental safety is not something the state should allow so companies can make a larger profit. On the surface, this law prevents green house gas emissions and allows companies to make more of a profit.
    Deregulation of energy sectors will create more jobs, however these jobs will be created in anti-green areas. Jobs will be created in greener areas by keeping, reforming, and implementing new and better regulations that protect the environment. Although the growth will be slow at first, after the sector and technology further develop along with economic incentives there will be more jobs available in this area than anti-green alternatives.
    The current administration should not allow companies to cut corners when it comes to ornamental and individual protection. I agree with Julia in part that the Trump administration has primarily focused on removing legislation from the Obama era, mostly because it is only from the Obama area. Trump believes that cutting this regulation will create job growth in rural america, however it will not create long-term sustainable jobs like green energy would.

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