A newly released analysis by the Climate Accountability Institute concludes that fossil fuels extracted from federal lands release carbon equal to a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions. The rate has stayed roughly consistent from 2003 to 2014.
When it comes to coal, the rate was even higher than average last year, the report concluded. “In 2014, two-fifths (40.2 percent) of U.S. coal production was from leases on Federal Lands; production on Indian Lands accounted for an additional 1.9 percent of U.S. coal production,” wrote Rick Heede, author of the analysis.
“My calculations find that the Department of Interior’s management of leases authorizing the extraction of fossil fuels on the public lands under its management results in approximately 25 percent of U.S. carbon emissions in the past decade,” Mr. Heede added in a statement. “25 percent is very significant for one single legal entity, governmental or private, and responsibility for 3-4 percent of global fossil fuel emissions should warrant the attention by policymakers and the White House.”
The report comes at a time when the Department of the Interior is considering reforms to its mineral rights leasing program, which has come under fire from taxpayer advocates as well as environmental groups.
One of our two candidates will end this extraction completely, and one won’t. Via Daily Kos diarist astral66, we find this, a group of statements made in the context of the Nevada caucus:
The Reno Gazette-Journal has been providing excellent coverage of the upcoming caucuses in Nevada. Today they published “Caucus prep: Hillary, Bernie answer 6 Nevada questions.” The questions cover such topics as immigration, drought, renewable energy, recreational marijuana, online gaming, and federal lands management. The answers draw a contrast between the two candidates and [I] highly recommend reading the whole article. I find the responses to the federal lands management issue to be significant.
Here’s a portion of Sanders’ answer regarding land management (my emphasis):
In my view, we must strengthen, not weaken our public lands system. Our public lands are national treasures for future generations.
Public lands should be managed for the benefit and enjoyment of all Americans, and not just the oil and gas, mining, and timber companies that have had disproportionate influence in management decisions on federal lands.
We can balance natural resource conservation AND appropriate the use of public lands to create jobs and promote economic growth.
But to my mind, we must end the sweetheart mining concessions and leasing rate practices that allow these industries to profit at the expense of American taxpayers.
, and I have co-sponsored important legislation to do just that. …
Public lands in Nevada and across the West provide a wide range of benefits, from open spaces for recreation to resources that support grazing, , and other uses. It is vital that the priorities, needs, and vision of local communities help shape the management of America’s public lands, and I would work to improve and support local, state, and federal collaboration.
See the video up top. The relevant parts of the caption is this. Clinton was asked
“whether she’ll reject fossil fuel money moving forward. Pointing her finger at activist Eva Resnick-Day, Clinton claimed she only takes money from people who work for fossil fuel companies and called the accusations lies.”
Here’s the detail from Vice News. Note the word ” interests” below. It’s broader than just “the corporations” themselves by including, for one thing, their lobbyists.
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