OP-ED | Public Lands Are Key to Fighting Climate Change

View the full article from Common Dreams

“Public lands account for a quarter of the nation’s land area and nearly a quarter of the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions through extraction and combustion of fossil fuels.  Conversely, the amount of CO2 sequestered by soils, forests, shrublands, grasslands and agricultural areas on public lands only offsets 15 percent of those emissions.

Those findings came from a first-ever, 2018 report on fossil fuel emissions on public lands by the United States Geological Survey. The report was commissioned by the Obama administration, but released quietly over the 2018 Thanksgiving weekend by the Trump administration.

It’s no surprise that the current administration barely acknowledges the report’s existence, given President Trump’s climate denial. As our climate spins out of control, and despite an oil glut, Trump’s Bureau of Land Management has moved ahead with new lease sales on 200,000 acres just in the four states of Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada, and Montana. Oil companies are still seeking to open an additional 42 million acres through new area plans covering nine Western states and Alaska.”, compared to preserving the planet itself.”