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Trump dilutes new environmental legislation after BP lobbying

By Caoimhe Toman

Date: Thursday 23 Jan 2020

Trump dilutes new environmental legislation after BP lobbying

(Sharecast News) - Trump watered down a landmark environmental law which could allow major infrastructure projects to avoid certain checks after BP lobbied against it.

US government documents showed that BP America had lobbied in favour of Donald Trump's decision to dilute the proposed legislation.

That may make it easier for new projects, such as oil pipelines and power plants, to move forward with far less oversight from federal government authorities of their impact on the environment.

BP also called for air quality checks to be scrapped and for limits on the changes that government agencies can demand of firms to help mitigate the environmental impact of major projects.

BP said in a letter to the Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) in August 2018 that streamlining the process would "directly benefit BP's operations in the US". The letter was discovered by Greenpeace's investigation unit, reported the Guardian on Thursday.

The oil major was planning to increase its business in the US after agreeing to pay $10.5bn (£8bn) to buy BHP Billiton's shale business last year.

Yet Bernard Looney, BP's new chief executive, was set to reveal an expansion in the company's climate targets to include emissions generated from the fuels and products that it sells and not just directly from its own operations, according to Reuters.

A spokesman for BP said: "Neither BP nor API advocated to exclude all indirect greenhouse gas impacts from Nepa analysis. In fact, BP believes the Nepa analysis should include all direct and many indirect impacts."

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