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Manufacturers ‘Freaked Out’ about Climate Guidelines

Manufacturers are “very freaked out” by new climate change standards that President Obama will reportedly issue in the coming weeks, Bloomberg reports.

According to the news agency, Obama will set guidelines that requires all federal agencies to consider the effects of major projects on air, water and soil pollution.

Lobbyists worry the across-the-board federal review will mean more administrative reviews and lawsuits, resulting in delays to natural gas export facilities and ports for coal sales to Asia.

“It’s got us very freaked out,” Ross Eisenberg, vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers, told Bloomberg. The association represents some 11,000 companies including Exxon Mobil and Southern Co.

The standards, being reviewed by the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality, will direct agencies on how to address climate change under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Bloomberg says the administration may require agencies to consider both the increase in greenhouse gases and how flooding, drought or other extreme weather might affect a project. It says agencies would be required to complete full reports for projects with 25,000 metric tons of CO2e emissions or more annually.

While the initial proposal, issued by the White House in 2010, exempted federal land and resource decisions from the standards, federal lands could be included in the final draft.

This could affect the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline and leases to drill for oil, gas and coal on federal lands, such as those issued to Arch Coal and Peabody Energy Corp. Environmental groups have filed lawsuits against the companies charging that the Department of the Interior didn’t consider the effect on global warming from burning coal before issuing the leases.

Groups including the US Chamber of Commerce, American Petroleum Institute and the National Mining Association have argued that climate change should not be considered under NEPA.

In another White House effort to reduce GHG emissions, the President plans to ask Congress to create a $2 billion energy security trust to fund alternative fuel research, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The trust will be included in Obama’s proposed budget and will research fuels that could eventually replace gasoline. The money would come from expected revenue from drilling permits, and from higher oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico.

At the same time, however, the Washington Post reports that the White House may scale back its proposal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants, proposed almost a year ago. The EPA might relax standards for coal-powered plants, and a re-write would almost certainly delay the agency’s timeline for action.

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7 thoughts on “Manufacturers ‘Freaked Out’ about Climate Guidelines

  1. Time is running out for CO2 mitigation and we need to act soon!
    *Occupywallstreet does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded carbon trading stock markets ruled by corporations and trustworthy politicians.
    Science needs to say that a climate crisis is as inevitable and eventual just as they easily say comet hits are. Otherwise 27 years of the world of science only saying it “could be” and “might be” a crisis proves it is a “won’t” be a crisis. There is consensus that it is real but no consensus whatsoever that it is a real crisis. Prove us former believers wrong. We don’t want this misery to be true so be happy about the exaggeration of crisis.
    Not one single IPCC warning says it “will” happen, only could and might and possibly….never have they said any climate crisis is imminent or unavoidable or……..
    A “maybe” crisis is unsustainable so let’s all demand that science be crystal clear; is it a crisis or not?

  2. I’ve been continuously amazed by the extremes this administration will go to destroy the US economy. Does this administration really believe they can control the climate? If so, then where do we vote on the ideal climate? American manufacturer’s have been “going along” to some extent when it wasn’t them or the regulations were not a major problem. Now they are caught. Heaven help us.

  3. Bob G: 1960 called. They want their argument back.

    To the extent an economy, industry, or business ignores climate change, it is doomed. Consumers have, do, and will continue to pay for products and services that do not damage the environment. Time to grow up, lads, and pay the piper for the free ride you’ve had. BTW, my 401k is at a all-time high, invested heavily in clean industry.

  4. Yes, it is a crisis. Science says so. The complaints by mememine69 are groundless – no individual, group, or movement can ever predict the future with 100% accuracy or certainty. It is simply absurd to demand such certainty. However, just look at the consistent percentage of top climate scientists who agree that anthropogenic global warming (AGW) is both real and a danger: around 98%. And that supermajority of climate scientists in agreement with AGW has persisted as more and more studies are completed and published, as more and more data roll in, and as the scientific discussion has proceeded. Scientists, and the scientific process, are about as skeptical as can be imagined – but they do pay attention to the data and they do allow that data to influence their thinking and their hypotheses. And that data has continued to convince 98% of them. It’s just too bad that climate change deniers refuse to listen to the same data, and refuse to pay attention to the experts in the field (especially when the deniers themselves so obviously lack any real scientific expertise).

  5. So it’s a crisis because smart people say it is? How about all the people that were not asked in that survey? 60% of meterorologists and 80% of environmental engineers are skeptical of catastrophic climate change.

    That’s the keep word. Climate Change is a fact. The world warms 0.7C per doubling of CO2 (absorption is logarithmic in regards to concentration). However, the catastrophes that would result from this are purely hypothetical and are completely belied by the data. What evidence do we have of the damage that would be caused by climate change? With our non-increasing hurricanes and decreasing tornados, and non-accelerating sea level rise, I’m just about tired of panic-mongers.

  6. Well, generally one chooses to ask ‘smart people’ when faced with decisions or a need for analyses. One doesn’t usually choose to ask people who have no particular expertise or experience on the subject – does one? When you have a potential heart condition, do you consult with laypeople about it? Do you even consult with doctors in other subspecialties (like allergies or cancer) about it? No – you go straight to the experts who specialize in your problem. Don’t you?
    Meteorologists are not climate experts. Neither are environmental engineers. There is, in fact, a body of climate scientists who are experts. What do they think? That is the group whose top members accept the tenents of AGW, including the dangers that it poses. Here is a link to back up that statement: http://www.pnas.org/content/107/27/12107.full. 98% of top climate researchers agree with the hypothesis of AGW.
    The truth of the matter is, that hurricane intensity and frequency in the atlantic are indeed increasing. Here is the data to prove it: http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/general/lib/lib1/nhclib/mwreviews.html.
    And here is a reference showing that sea levels are indeed rising, and that the rate of rise is itself also increasing: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch5s5-es.html. A quote from this page reads: “Global mean sea level has been rising. From 1961 to 2003, the average rate of sea level rise was 1.8 ± 0.5 mm yr–1. For the 20th century, the average rate was 1.7 ± 0.5 mm yr–1, consistent with the TAR estimate of 1 to 2 mm yr–1. There is high confidence that the rate of sea level rise has increased between the mid-19th and the mid-20th centuries”. Here is another reference for global sea level rise: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch5s5-5-2.html. And yet another: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/faq-5-1.html.
    So, BenOfHouston, you may well be tired; but your reactions do not change the truth. AGW is real. It is a danger. And we had better get our collective act together and address it – because burying our heads in the sand isn’t going to make it go away.

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