Emissions resulting from federal oil and gas lease sales sold between January 2017 and April 2019 could produce 4.7 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, according to a new report from The Wilderness Society.
At the current pace of leasing, emissions from the production and combustion of fossil fuels sourced from public lands and waters are projected to fall well short of the reduction target suggested by leading climate science, and the Trump administration’s leasing decisions are compounding the problem, according to the report. Since Trump became president, the US government has offered 378 million acres of public lands and waters for oil and gas leasing, reports The Guardian.
The report indicates oil and gas lease sales sold in the Gulf of Mexico resulting in potential emissions of nearly 2 billion MT CO2e, followed by onshore sales in Utah and Wyoming with over 1 billion MT CO2e each.
The administration’s “mismanagement” of federal energy resources, as well as public lands and waters, are “aggravating the global climate crisis when they should be a part of the solution,” says Chase Huntley, energy and climate change program director at The Wilderness Society.
The report further accuses the Trump administration of actively seeking to suppress disclosure of the full sweep of climate emissions from fossil energy leases.
The numbers in the new report are derived from the federal government’s own leasing data and production estimates, The Wilderness Society says.