Today’s Key Takeaways: EV tires create a pollution problem. Reactions to offshore leasing program. Confusion about wastewater standards for Alaska’s Palmer Project.
NEWS OF THE DAY:
EV tires wear down fast, and that’s a pollution problem | Canary Media
Paul Krantz, Canary Media, October 3, 2023
As gas-guzzling cars are replaced by their electric counterparts, tailpipe emissions are on the decline. But cars have other negative impacts on environmental health beyond what comes out of their exhaust pipes.
One of the bigger, albeit lesser-known, problems is tire pollution — or “tire and road-wear particles,” in industry terminology.
Tires shed tiny particles with every rotation. Tire wear happens most dramatically during rapid acceleration, braking and sharp turns, but even with the most conservative driving, particulate pollution is an unavoidable consequence of car use. And it’s a problem that’s poised to get worse as drivers transition to EVs.
“We’re pushing for decarbonization by going to battery-electric vehicles, and in doing so we’re pushing up tire-wear emissions…which is going to prove difficult to solve,” said Nick Molden, founder and CEO of Emissions Analytics, a London-based company that performs independent tests on cars’ real-world tailpipe and tire emissions. Molden pointed out that tailpipe exhaust is dramatically reduced by filters and catalytic converters, which use chemical reactions to reduce pollution. In contrast, tires are a fundamentally open system, so there is no viable way to capture the polluting particles that fly off of them.
Emissions Analytics found that a single car sheds almost nine pounds of tire weight per year, on average. Globally, that amounts to 6 million metric tons of tire pollution annually, with most of it coming from wealthier countries where personal car use is more prevalent.
Oil and Gas Sector Reacts to Federal Offshore Leasing Program
Andreas Exarheas, Rigzone, October 3, 2023
Several oil and gas groups have reacted to the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) release of a proposed final 2024-2029 National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program.
In a statement posted on its website, the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) President and CEO Mike Sommers said, “this restrictive offshore leasing program is the latest tactic in a coordinated strategy to reduce energy production, ultimately weakening America’s energy dominance, limiting consumers access to affordable reliable energy, and compromising our ability to lead on the global stage”.
“For decades, we’ve strived for energy security and this administration keeps trying to give it away,” he added.
“At a time when inflation runs rampant across the country, the Biden administration is choosing failed energy policies that are adding to the pain Americans are feeling at the pump,” Sommers noted in the statement.
In a statement posted on its site, the Independent Petroleum Association of America’s (IPAA) President and CEO Jeff Eshelman said the group was “disappointed by the content of the Biden administration’s offshore five-year leasing program”.
“It’s clear that the Biden administration has chosen to align its policy decisions with environmental activists rather than put the best interest of American consumers first,” Eshelman said in the statement.
“A plan with only three leases in five years will not only hamper American production but jeopardizes our energy security and will result in hundreds of millions of dollars of lost revenue to coastal states and the federal treasury,” he added.
Palmer Project challenge to administrative ruling denied by DEC | Juneau Empire
Meredith Jordan, Juneau Empire, October 2, 2023
Constantine wanted to know “precisely how” wastewater standards would be assessed.
An administrative law judge and acting commissioner for Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation has denied a request by the corporation behind the Palmer Project to reconsider portions of an administrative ruling granting it waste permits that weren’t in its favor.
The initial waste management permits for exploratory drilling were issued in mid-August, a victory for the mine, after a challenge by Chilkat Indian Village and five environmental groups represented by Earthjustice.
However, the 18-page split decision by then DEC Commissioner Jason Brune stated DEC staff hadn’t followed the established process the first time and needed to do so going forward.
Specifically, the decision required DEC to rely on in-house guidance in evaluating water standards, provide greater transparency of its work, and include public input as part of the process. Brune has since retired.
The ruling also determined, in the mining project’s favor, that it wasn’t required to meet more stringent Clean Water Act requirements. The environmental groups are weighing whether to appeal that portion of the decision to state Superior Court.
Constantine Mining LLC filed a petition for reconsideration on Sept. 1 with the Alaska Office of Administrative Hearings, stating portions of the ruling were “confusing.” It asked for a determination on “precisely how” water standards would be assessed.
In denying the request for reconsideration on Sept. 18, Administrative Law Judge Christopher Kennedy, and Emma Pokon, acting commissioner of Environmental Conservation, said clarification isn’t necessary.
“The Acting Commissioner and Administrative Law Judge declined to micromanage how the Division should resolve the legal deficiencies, including by placing any arbitrary time limits on the Division,” said Erin Colón, an attorney for Earthjustice in Alaska.
American Mining Pacific Corp. did not respond to a request for comment.