As I write this, Florence, a Category 4 hurricane, is bearing down on the East Coast, bringing with it no telling how much destruction and disaster . . . We don’t know if the cost will exceed Hurricane Harvey at $125 billion. But we do know that this will create great anxiety and grief and financial hardship to millions of Americans.
At the same time, Trump’s administration is working to weaken the very regulations that would have helped to alleviate global warming.
Right now, the Trump EPA is moving to scrap regulations designed to make the gas and oil industry do more to prevent methane leaks from the process of drilling and transporting gas and oil. These regulations are called for because the current low cost of natural gas has allowed producers to be careless about letting gas escape. And methane is a powerful source of global warming — 84 percent stronger than carbon in the short run. You would think that since the gas is their source of income, companies would be determined to save every bit of it for their own profit, but currently they are letting about 2.3 percent leak into our atmosphere.
The Trump administration thinks that’s fine. And the Republican Congress follows right along. They have also worked to repeal the Clean Power Plan as well as to rollback fuel economy standards for cars and trucks. All of this adds to the speed and severity of global warming and thus to the strength and frequency of severe weather events like Florence.
They call these moves “pro-business,” but I would call them pro-destruction. We need someone in Congress who will work to restore sanity and strong curbs on carbon. This year, we need a Democrat [in Virginia’s 5th congressional district]. We need Leslie Cockburn.