Shell’s cracker emissions data involves legal sleight of hand
July 31, 2016 12:00 AM
In his July 24 letter “Cracker Emissions,” Louis D’Amico, president of the Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association, suggested that the large petro-chemical plant that Royal Dutch Shell is building in Beaver County will result in a “net decrease” in air emissions. That is absurd and clearly intended to mislead the public.
When the plant is built and operating, it will significantly worsen the air pollution in Beaver County. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. Once built, the air quality in the communities around the plant and downwind from the plant will worsen.
Shell is using a perfectly legal sleight of hand that allows Shell to subtract on paper the emissions of nearby plants that are closed from its emissions. When those plants closed, their right to emit pollution was a valuable commodity known as an emission credit. By taking credit for reducing emissions from already closed plants, Shell avoids any obligation to reduce its own emissions.
JOSEPH OTIS MINOTT Executive Director and Chief Counsel Clean Air Council Philadelphia
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