Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Methane: Can Executive Authority Save US?
1. The rest of the world will hardly limit its greenhouse gas emissions if the largest per capita polluter, that's US, refuses to do its share.
2. International treaties on this and other issues must pass through Congress--and till January 2017 at least, ours is dominated by deniers, creationists, coal-mongers, and other political criminals who will NEVER pass a reasonable package of energy measures.
3. Ergo, the Paris conference is steaming toward a giant iceberg called 'US intransigence' and changing course doesn't seem like an option.
Into the path of this collision steps President Obama, who pledged to address the Climate problem, failed early on, and seemed to forget about it. No more. First he gathered executive authority to make a start at least at coal emissions controls, and now he is taking on the methane producers in the extraction industries. Will it work? Republican adversaries in Congress will oppose it every way they can, but they may fall just short of the 60 votes they need in the Senate. Industry officials are hoping for something so general and watered down as to be useless. The devil will be in the details as they emerge this spring. But this announcement has to be encouraging to advocates all over the world.