(EnviroNews Utah) — Salt Lake City, Utah — The day after Utah had experienced hurricane-force winds that blew particulate matter out of Utah’s typically stagnant and nastily polluted airshed, Senator Scott K. Jenkins of Weber and Davis Counties told his colleagues and our news camera, “The fact is, the air in this valley has never been cleaner, since 1952 when we started to keep track of it. The air has never been cleaner than it is today. I want you all to take a deep breath. Aaaah! Good stuff isn’t it?” (grins)
The baffling speech came during the second reading of Senate Bill 87 on February 23, 2015 in Utah’s legislative session, but Jenkins didn’t stop his dissertation at air pollution.
S.B. 87 had been poised to do something pivotal in Utah’s ongoing, debilitating, and downright deadly air pollution crisis, as cities in the Beehive State frequently sit atop the EPA’s air quality index, holding the dubious distinction of the most dangerously polluted cities in the United States.
The bill intended to repeal three-decade-old antiquated language from Utah law, where it was codified in section 19-2-106 that Utah’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) shall not implement regulations that go above the minimum standards of the EPA. In the end, the bill went down in flames, leaving the DEQ hamstrung with tied hands, and air quality activists disheartened and downright angry.
During Jenkins’ speech against S.B. 87, he took it upon himself to lay out an example of how oil companies just couldn’t stimulate their wells adequately enough because of increasing strict CO2 regulations — an idea that seems downright absurd considering the worldwide looming climate catastrophe and our global inability to curb CO2 emissions as we continue to soar above 400 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere.
Here’s what Jenkins offered up on the CO2 issue:
…and they announced these new CO2 rules, and how they’re changing. And now… I was reading an article the other day in The Wall Street (Journal) that talked about how we are using liquid CO2, and much of it comes from these coal plants, to go down and scrub these old wells, and we can get as much out on the second trip through a well, as we did the first time with CO2. Well, we can’t get it anymore! It’s becoming tough to get, BECAUSE of the new regulations.
The entire mass of underground oil producing geological nomenclatures have been flooded with CO2 in Chevron’s giant Rangely oilfield for years, utilizing CO2 from Exxon’s Shute Creek gas sweetening plant, and this is only one example of how excess CO2 is injected and utilized to increase oil and gas production.
Nevertheless, none of those facts seemed to bother Jenkins at all in his sermon. Those gosh-darn regulations — just a monkeywrenchin’ away at big oil profits! What a shame. (The last paragraph was satire by the way.)