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Trump drilling leases could create more climate pollution than EU does in a year

Trump drilling leases could create more climate pollution than EU does in a year

US has offered close to 378m acres of public lands and waters for oil and gas leasing since Trump took office through April 2019

Donald Trump’s leases of public lands and waters for oil and gas drilling could lead to the production of more climate-warming pollution than the entire European Union contributes in a year, according to a new report.

The Wilderness Society estimates heat-trapping emissions from extracting and burning those fossil fuels could range between 854m and 4.7bn metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, depending on how much development companies pursue.

The 28 nations in the European Union produced about 4bn metric tons of CO2 equivalent in 2014, the last year reported.

“These leasing decisions have significant and long-term ramifications for our climate and our ability to stave off the worst impacts of global warming,” the group said.

“Emissions from public lands are expected to fall well short of the reductions target suggested by leading climate science, and this administration’s leasing decisions are making that problem much worse.”

The US government has offered close to 378m acres (153m hectares) of public lands and waters for oil and gas leasing since Trump became president through April 2019, according to the group. That’s more than any previous administration, according to the Wilderness Society.

Multiple candidates vying for the White House in 2020 have said they would ban new drilling on public lands. They include Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Kirsten Gillibrand, Cory Booker, Jay Inslee, Pete Buttigieg and Tim Ryan.

David Hayes, who was interior’s deputy secretary under the Obama administration, testified before US lawmakers at a hearing on Tuesday that some oil and gas activity can and should continue on public lands “but it should be counterbalanced with the aggressive deployment of our public lands to tackle the climate crisis”.

Republicans on the subcommittee holding the House hearing called a witness from the conservative Heritage Foundation to argue that “negligible climate benefits” would come from banning oil and gas production on federal lands.

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Natural gas is flared off as oil is pumped in the Bakken shale formation, Watford City, North Dakota, United States Natural gas is flared off as oil is pumped in the Bakken shale formation, Watford City, North Dakota. Photograph: Jim West/REX Shutterstock

Source: The Guardian

By:  Emily Holden in Washington
Wed 17 Jul 2019 01.00 EDT

LINK:  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/jul/16/trump-drilling-leases-pollution-eu-climate-change?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Emai

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Trump’s interior secretary: I haven’t ‘lost sleep’ over record CO2 levels

This article is more than 2 months old

Last week the Mauna Loa Observatory observed the highest levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere ever documented

David Bernhardt, a former oil and gas lobbyist has been criticized for his decisions favoring the industry.
David Bernhardt, a former oil and gas lobbyist, has been criticized for his decisions favoring the industry. Photograph: Aaron P Bernstein/Reuters

Donald Trump’s interior secretary hasn’t “lost sleep over”, the record-breaking levels of pollution heating the planet, he told US lawmakers in an oversight hearing.

The Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii observed carbon dioxide levels of 415 parts per million in the atmosphere on Friday – the highest ever documented.

Asked to rank his concern on a scale of 1 to 10, by the Pennsylvania Democratic congressman Matt Cartwright, David Bernhardt pointed to US climate progress.

“I believe the United States is number 1 in terms of decreasing CO2,” Bernhardt said.

Pushed to give a number, Bernhardt said: “I haven’t lost any sleep over it.”

The US has put more carbon pollution into the atmosphere than any other nation in history. China is currently the biggest emitter, and the US ranks second. Carbon emissions in the US actually increased last year.

The Trump administration has rolled back many of the Obama-era efforts to limit heat-trapping pollution and many Trump officials have questioned the severity of climate change and whether it is caused by human actions. Scientists agree that humans are the dominant cause of rising temperatures, including the fossil fuels they burn to drive vehicles and run power plants. A recent international science report warned that climate change threatens humans and a million other species.

Bernhardt, a former oil and gas lobbyist, has been criticized for his decisions favoring industry.

At the hearing on Wednesday, an activist in a “Swamp Thing” mask was in full view several rows behind him.

Trump vowed to “drain the swamp” if he was elected president, but has appointed multiple former industry representatives to run his agencies.

LINK:  https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/may/15/interior-secretary-david-bernhardt-c02

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