A ‘hot’ battle brewing over the environment

The government is moving forward to take action to reduce air pollution so there is sure to be plenty of push back from the fossil fuel industry.

There are a couple of reasons why I believe the industry is on the verge of taking major action in the coming months against pollution regulation and more importantly, the natural environment.

Reason #1:

A number of manmade disasters have led to severe consequences with most of them affecting the common American.

Chad Devereaux clears bricks that fell from three sides of his in-laws? home in Sparks, Okla., Nov. 6, 2011, after two earthquakes hit the area in less than 24 hours. (Sue Ogrocki/AP Photo)
Chad Devereaux clears bricks that fell from three sides of his in-laws? home in Sparks, Okla., Nov. 6, 2011, after two earthquakes hit the area in less than 24 hours. (Sue Ogrocki/AP Photo)

The scientific journal Geology concluded an Oklahoma earthquake from 2011 — the biggest of its kind — was likely due to the process of hydraulic fracturing, which injects highly pressurized water into oil and gas reserves buried deep beneath the earth’s surface.

Backyard of home in Mayflower Arkansas (Courtesy of AJ Zolten, Facebook)
Backyard of home in Mayflower Arkansas (Courtesy of AJ Zolten, Facebook)

Also, Exxon Mobil Corporation just spilled “a few thousand” barrels of oil in Mayflower, Arkansas Friday evening.

Residents have been evacuated as officials “steam clean” the affected areas.

The pipeline carries 95,000 barrels of heavy, Canadian crude oil through its pipeline that originates in Alberta, Canada, runs through Illinois and down to Texas’ oil refineries, which have the specific equipment to break down this heavy oil for consumption.

(PHOTOS: Treehugger.com’s aggregation of local multimedia from ground zero)

According to Mother Jones reporter Kate Sheppard, when asked how much oil had spilled into the streets of a Mayflower neighborhood, she received this from Exxon Mobil’s media relations,

“A few thousand barrels of oil were observed in the area; a response for 10,000 barrels has been undertaken to ensure adequate resources are in place. Approximately 12,000 barrels of oil and water have been recovered. Crews are steam cleaning oil from property.”

Reason #2:

The Obama administration has helped to initiate a new set of air pollution rules that will most likely result in the oil refining industry upgrading its technology leading them to pass their costs onto consumers.

According to The Associated Press the Obama administration and the EPA are proposing stricter standards on car emissions by 2017.

These new standards aim to reduce sulfur in gasoline by 60 percent and nitrogen oxides by 80.

The EPA says these new standards will save the country billions of dollars in health care costs by reducing illnesses linked to air pollution.

Bill Becker, executive director of the National Association of Clean Air Agencies says these new regulations are the equivalent of taking 33 million cars off the roads.

But the EPA admits these new regulations will most likely result in the cost of cars increasing $130 by 2025.

Also, the oil refining industry says the new regulations will lead to gas prices going up 9 cents.

American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, Charles Drevna, doesn’t see why the government is taking extra steps to remove climate change-contributing chemicals from the atmosphere when the oil refining industry has already taken the steps to reduce sulfur by 90 percent, costing them $10 billion.

A senior EPA officials said that out of 111 refineries, 16 would have to make major modifications. Twenty-nine already meet this proposed standard leaving 66 that would have to make some modifications to their current equipment.

The fossil fuel industry is having a nightmare of a week but don’t think they’ll lay down and take it.

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