AK Maintains High Water Quality Standards;  US Carbon Emissions fall in 2019

Alaska is fully engaged in transboundary water, mining issues
Corri Feige, Doug Vincent-Lang, Jason Brune, Anchorage Daily News, July 14, 2019

As leaders of Alaska’s state resource agencies, we want to assure everyone who shares our desire for healthy lands, waters, fish and economies that Alaska remains committed to maintaining both high water quality standards and responsible mineral development in the transboundary waters between Southeast Alaska and British Columbia.  Both state and federal legislators have expressed concerns about this issue recently, some by writing to encourage Gov. Michael J. Dunleavy to keep Alaska involved with British Columbia’s provincial government on transboundary issues, under a Memorandum of Understanding and Cooperation, or MOU, signed by former Gov. Bill Walker and former British Columbia Premier Christy Clark in 2015.

 

Wheeler: Obscure air provision behind Paris withdrawal
Jean Chemnick, E & E News, Climatewire, July 15, 2019

EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler may have offered some new information last week about the legal arguments behind President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement.  In a call with reporters last Monday ahead of Trump’s White House environment speech, the administrator told reporters that the United States couldn’t have stayed in Paris because doing so would have jeopardized Trump’s deregulatory agenda.  That’s not necessarily a new line from the administration; Wheeler’s predecessor, Scott Pruitt, and then-White House Counsel Don McGahn, top administration agitators for leaving the deal, debuted it in meetings before the president announced plans to leave Paris in June 2017. Trump allies on Capitol Hill and in agencies have been using it ever since.

But Wheeler’s explanation was different. When a reporter asked whether Trump still sought to “renegotiate” Paris, Wheeler mentioned a Clean Air Act provision that has been used once in the law’s 40-year history. He said it would have made Trump’s domestic agenda impossible if the United States stayed in the deal.  “Another aspect that a lot of people gloss over is that, under the Clean Air Act — I believe it’s Section 115 of the Clean Air Act — if we enter into an international treaty, such as the Paris climate accord — if we fail to meet our targets, those are enforceable under our domestic laws,” Wheeler said. “Most other countries who are signatories to the Paris climate accord don’t have that same constraint.”

 

The ‘biggest change in oil market history’ is less than six months away
Sam Meredith,  CNBC, July 15, 2019

  • On January 1, 2020, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) will enforce new emissions standards designed to significantly curb pollution produced by the world’s ships.
  • “It is the biggest change in oil market history,” Steve Sawyer, senior analyst at energy consultant Facts Global Energy, told CNBC.
  • The forthcoming measures are widely expected to create an oversupply of high-sulfur fuel oil while sparking demand for IMO-compliant products.

 

From the Washington Examiner, Daily on Energy:

AFTER ONE-YEAR SPIKE, CARBON EMISSIONS TO FALL DUE TO COAL DECLINE: U.S. carbon emissions from energy production will fall in 2019 after spiking last year, mostly because of a continued decrease in coal consumption.

Emissions will decline 2.2% in 2019, after rising 2.7% in 2018, according to a report Monday morning from the Energy Information Administration.

EIA projects that carbon emissions from coal will decrease by 169 million metric tons in 2019, the largest decrease in emissions from coal since 2015. However, carbon emissions from natural gas will increase this year by 53 million metric tons as gas continues to replace coal as the most used electricity source. The increase in carbon emissions from gas is more than offset by declines in emissions from coal — gas emits half the amount of carbon as coal.