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Emissions From U.S. Public Lands Exceed Most Countries’ GHG Output

Oil, gas, and coal projects on public lands in the United States account for at least 20% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, enough to exceed the total carbon output of most countries.

“If U.S. public lands were their own country, they would rank fifth in the world for greenhouse gas emissions,” The Wilderness Society reported last week.

“The government does not measure and report emissions, nor disclose the costs of associated impacts, from development on public lands. We can’t manage what we don’t measure,” the Society notes on the website for its new Federal Lands Emissions Accountability Tool (FLEAT).

And without transparency in the management of more than 2.4 billion acres (972.1 million hectares) of onshore and offshore minerals, “we cannot hold the federal government accountable to manage our shared resources effectively.”

Grist notes that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management under the Trump administration “has instructed land management agencies to forego climate impact assessments in the interest of spurring new energy developments.