Good News and Bad News, Thanks to the Senate

The Bureau of Land Management’s Methane Waste and Prevention Rule was upheld by the US Senate, and for this we are truly grateful.

“The greenhouse gas rule is intended to curb a practice called flaring, during which energy producers burn off natural gas that they can’t process or sell. That process releases methane into the atmosphere.”

With a huge sheet broken off the ice shelf in Antarctica, ever-increasing heat, and worsening storms, we need all the help we can get.  However, because business is, after all, business, we are not blessed with smooth sailing.

“Upon publication of the rule, two industry groups (Western Energy Alliance and the Independent Petroleum Association of America) and three states (Wyoming, North Dakota and Montana) asked the courts for judicial review, and that litigation is now pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming.”  Because of this litigation, the BLM “…is suspending the implementation of provisions of the rule that have not yet gone into effect.” 

As things currently stand, part of the new rule went into effect in January, while the remainder was scheduled to go into effect in January 2018.  It is the implementation of this second round of the rule that will not go into effect as scheduled.  Although I am sure we are very glad that the rule is still in place, but with the rule now being effectively truncated it is worrisome, and all because of greed.  Thanks to the interference of the 1%, the new rule will not provide all the benefit that was intended.  Instead, the businesses that will benefit from continuing their old polluting practices will get to continue them.

Business is only ever interested in profit, regardless of the consequences, and left unregulated, they would end up annihilating life on Earth.  Unregulated, business is run by individuals who can frequently get away with murder, literally.  With no curb on their quest for profit, they will not act for the common good, but only for the good of their shareholders.  This leads to actions such as the one mentioned above, where these industry groups are stalling the implementation of a rule that would preserve our environment and benefit everyone.

We need to do two things to defend against this sort of thing, and to prevent its recurrence:  we need to educate people, which takes a great deal of time; and we need to implement government controls so that business cannot run roughshod over us and eventually take over altogether.  This latter avenue needs to be taken immediately in order to prevent the impossibility of the former avenue ever being taken.

In addition to action, prayer is, of course, necessary.  Prayer gives us hope and comfort in dark times, and supports us in our work for a better life.  Prayer also can change energy, and when we pray, we must focus on that because there is so much darkness we need to dissipate.  Right now, we have made some gains, and this is good, but we need to urgently work for more.

Here are some practical steps we all can take.  Some scientists recently provided a short list of things individuals can do to help the environment, and here’s the list along with how much impact each action has on the environment.

…“having one fewer child (an average for developed countries of 58.6 tonnes CO2-equivalent (tCO2e) emission reductions per year), living car-free (2.4 tCO2e saved per year), avoiding airplane travel (1.6 tCO2e saved per roundtrip transatlantic flight) and eating a plant-based diet (0.8 tCO2e saved per year).”

I am sure this list will appear nearly impossible for most Americans, but that does not take away from its truth or its necessity.  The closer we can come to doing these things, the better for us all.  It would even weaken the corporate stronghold on us if we consume less.  Living without a car may be easy for city-dwellers, but for those in smaller areas, reducing car usage is certainly something that is possible.  We must do the best we can, because how can we call ourselves Pagan if we do not work for our Mother?


Copyright © 2017 Teresa Chupp.  All rights reserved.