Tuesday 19 March 2019

Oil giant urges Trump to curb gas emissions over climate fear

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell. Photo: Anna Gowthorpe/PA
Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell. Photo: Anna Gowthorpe/PA

Chris Riotta

Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell has taken the unusual step of urging Donald Trump to tighten restrictions on greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel production, instead of weakening them as planned.

Breaking from a decades-old tradition of avoiding criticism of US government policies, Shell's US boss Gretchen Watkins called on the US Environmental Protection Agency to tighten rules to plug methane leaks, a potent greenhouse gas.

"It is a big part of the climate problem and frankly we can do more," Ms Watkins said in an interview.

"We don't usually tell governments how to do their job but we're ready to break with that and say, 'Actually, we want to tell you how to do your job.'"

She urged the EPA "to put in a regulatory framework that will both regulate existing methane emissions but also future methane emissions."

The Trump administration in September proposed weakening requirements for repairing leaks of the greenhouse gas in drilling operations in a step to roll back an Obama-era policy intended to combat climate change.

Meanwhile, Mr Trump has repeated the false claim climate change is not real and the science demonstrating the crisis is "fake".

He appeared to be tweeting a statement he heard from Fox News yesterday, writing, "Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace: 'The whole climate crisis is not only Fake News, it's Fake Science. There is no climate crisis, there's weather and climate all around the world, and in fact carbon dioxide is the main building block of all life."

Mr Trump's tweet is misleading in more ways than one.

Greenpeace has refuted Mr Moore's claims he is an environmental expert and has said he was not responsible for creating the group.

"Patrick Moore often misrepresents himself in the media as an environmental 'expert' or even an 'environmentalist', while offering anti-environmental opinions on a wide range of issues and taking a distinctly anti-environmental stance," the group said.

Irish Independent

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