Thursday, November 29, 2018

Report: Extracting and burning fossil fuels from federal lands accounts for nearly 1/4 of all U.S. carbon dioxide emissions

The climate-change report released last Friday has made headlines all week, but government scientists released a second report that day with significant findings. That report, issued by the U.S. Geological Survey, found that the extracting and burning of oil, gas, and coal on federally owned lands (onshore and offshore) accounted for 23.7 percent of all U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions and 7.3 percent of methane emissions between 2005 and 2014.

The survey also found that COemissions from such extraction and use fell 6.1 percent from 2005 to 2014. That's because coal, the fuel that leads to the highest CO2 emissions, is losing ground to natural gas. 

The report is the first to examine greenhouse-gas emissions from fossil fuels extracted on federal lands. The Environmental Protection Agency publishes nationwide greenhouse-gas emissions figures but does not report emissions from federal lands specifically. Researchers relied on state-level data and did not include tribal lands in their analysis.

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