Extreme Temperature Diary- Saturday October 10th, 2020/ Main Topic: Undoing The Damage…President Biden’s Environmental Hurdles

The main purpose of this ongoing blog will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials).😉

Main Topic: Undoing The Damage…President Biden’s Environmental Hurdles

Dear Diary. As of this writing, looking at poling data and sensing the mood of the country, it appears that the next term for a U.S. President should be from Joseph R. Biden. That’s not to write that we should let down our guard and not vote. I’ve already done so by absentee ballot BTW. So, Biden should be able to undo Trump’s damaging policies on the environment with a few strokes of a pen by February 2021, right? We’ll…unfortunately wrong.

The following Hill article describes the hurdles for righting our environmental course, and it looks like Trump has set many land mines along the oath our good ship will have to steer around:

https://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/519909-biden-would-face-hurdles-undoing-trump-environmental-rollbacks

Biden would face hurdles undoing Trump environmental rollbacks

BY RACHEL FRAZIN – 10/07/20 06:00 AM EDT

Biden would face hurdles undoing Trump environmental rollbacks

© GETTY IMAGES

If Democratic nominee Joe Biden is elected president, his administration will likely take aim at the Trump administration’s rollbacks of many major environmental protections.

Biden’s climate plan lays out actions he would take on Day One like implementing “aggressive” methane pollution limits from the oil and gas sector and developing “rigorous” fuel economy standards.

Environmental advocates say the former vice president should target rules that have the biggest effects on climate change and those that are most harmful to marginalized communities.

Yet because of complexities in the rulemaking process — along with structural changes implemented by the Trump administration — undoing even just some of Trump’s environmental rollbacks could take years.

The Trump administration has moved to reverse 100 environmental rules, according to a New York Times analysis from June. Those efforts have included replacing the Obama-era Clean Power Plan with a rule that reduced the regulatory burdens on coal-fired power plants, slashing mileage and emissions standards for automakers and eliminating methane requirements for oil and gas producers.

A recent analysis from researchers with Rhodium Group estimated that rollbacks promulgated by the Trump administration could cause the release of an extra 1.8 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions by 2035.

The analysis highlighted the administration’s loosening of fuel economy requirements, its weakening of methane emissions regulations and its decision to prevent California from setting statewide emissions standards. Those steps were among the moves most likely to be the biggest contributors to increased greenhouse gas emissions, according to the analysis.

The Biden campaign directed The Hill to the candidate’s climate plan when asked about which Trump actions Biden would tackle first. The plan lists a series of actions it would undertake immediately, including changes to the Trump administration’s methane limits and fuel economy standards.

Biden’s plan also says he would ban new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters, permanently protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and rejoin the Paris climate agreement.

Additionally, Biden backs “aggressive” new efficiency standards on buildings and home appliances, as well as requiring public companies to disclose climate risks and aiming to conserve 30 percent of federal lands and waters by 2030.

Many of the objectives outlined by the Biden campaign are in line with those of environmental groups, though some organizations are warning that simply returning to the standards of the Obama administration is not enough.

“There’s a tremendous, tremendous amount of work to do to fix all of the rollbacks to regulatory infrastructure that’s taken place under Trump and … even that is not enough,” said Bracken Hendricks, a co-founder of Evergreen, a group started by former advisers to Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D).

Hendricks argued that what should be prioritized first are taking on actions that have caused the greatest amount of emissions in general and those that have disproportionately and cumulatively harmed certain communities. 

“Some communities are getting it from all sides, and so there’s more to look at than just increasing the explosion of total average emissions nationally. We really do have to look at key hot spots where people are suffering disproportionately,” he said. 

Hendricks listed Trump administration rules relating to vehicle emissions and efficiency, methane emissions, air toxics and mercury emissions from coal plants as some of the first rollbacks he would undo, noting that issues relating to loosening standards on industrial emissions and the disclosure of those emissions are likely to greatly impact vulnerable communities.

If Democrats win back the Senate in November, that could allow a Democratic Congress to pass legislation that’s less susceptible to court challenges like the kinds facing the Trump administration now.

“[Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell is right there, as the climate obstructionist in chief in the Senate,” said Craig Auster, the League of Conservation Voters senior director for political affairs. 

“We need to keep and expand the majority in the House, we need to flip the Senate and elect Joe Biden because otherwise we’re not going to have the policies we need to have to address climate change,” he said. 

In order to pass major environmental bills, some say the filibuster, which can be used to block legislation that doesn’t have 60 votes, must be eliminated.

But getting rid of the procedural tool is seen by some as a long shot given opposition from some Democrats.

If a Biden administration must rely on the rulemaking process to undo Trump’s actions, it could set up a long battle and possible court challenges.

Updated at 11:37 a.m.TAGS MITCH MCCONNELLJAY INSLEEJOE BIDENCLIMATE CHANGE

One thing that I would recommend that the Biden team do, as we wait for a slow transition to renewables set up by Trump’s roadblocks, is a massive tree planting campaign. Mainly due to COVID19, the economy will be in terrible shape in 2021, with many people very anxious to receive some sort of income. A program, similar to what Roosevelt implemented during the 1930s, of planting trees around cities and on rooftops would both help families and the environment. Just my two cents.

Today I will be listing the last items in association with Delta below. The most recent items, which I will be updating frequently, will be at the top of this list:

It was very hot in West Texas today. Here are some “ET’s” from that area of the country reported today:

Here is more climate and weather news from Saturday:

(As usual, this will be a fluid post in which more information gets added during the day as it crosses my radar, crediting all who have put it on-line. Items will be archived on this site for posterity. In most instances click on the pictures of each tweet to see each article. The most noteworthy items will be listed first.)

Now here are some of today’s articles and notes on the horrid COVID-19 pandemic:

(If you like these posts and my work please contribute via the PayPal widget, which has recently been added to this site. Thanks in advance for any support.) 

Guy Walton “The Climate Guy”

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