New bill will direct federal agencies to account for carbon emissions from public lands

Oct 26, 2017

Greg Owens

Today, Reps. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA), Carlos Curbelo (R-FL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Niki Tsongas (D-MA) introduced H.R. 4126 Transparency in Energy Production Act of 2017. The bill would direct the Department of the Interior to track and house an online database that aggregates the production and emissions data from fossil fuel development on public lands.

The U.S. federal government is one of the largest energy asset managers in the world, and yet does not have a system in place to disclose the carbon performance of its energy production to the public.  One-fifth or more of our national greenhouse gas emissions can be accounted for in the oil, gas and coal extracted from federal lands and waters.

“This bipartisan legislation will increase the transparency of federal management of taxpayer-owned energy resources by requiring agencies disclose production and emissions information. No responsible manager would hide this information from the asset owners,” said Chase Huntley, senior director of The Wilderness Society’s Energy and Climate Program.

“In order to craft effective solutions to climate change, we must have a more comprehensive understanding of our current emissions. As people of faith, we are heartened by this cooperative step in Congress towards understanding and addressing the challenge of climate change. We applaud this bipartisan effort to calculate the amount of greenhouse gas emissions coming from public lands,” said Diane Randall, Executive Secretary, Friends Committee on National Legislation.

“This bill is particularly timely as the Trump administration is attempting to delay needed rules designed to cut methane pollution and waste from federal and tribal lands. Natural gas on public lands belongs to the American taxpayers and we deserve to know the climate and economic impact of this unnecessary loss of valuable resources,” said Elizabeth Thompson, president of EDF Action. “We applaud Congressman Lowenthal and the bipartisan group of Representatives who are co-sponsoring this bill for their efforts to increase transparency about greenhouse gas emissions - particularly methane pollution from oil and gas facilities on federal and tribal lands.”






Alex Thompson