The Utah Bureau of Land Management has suspended 130 oil and gas leases in Utah in order to analyze impacts from greenhouse gas emissions. The improper leases were challenged by two similar lawsuits, WildEarth Guardians et. al. vs Zinke; and Living Rivers, Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance and Center for Biological Diversity vs Hoffman.
Nearly a quarter of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions come from fossil fuels extracted on public lands. A moratorium on new leasing could help the United States meet goals for greenhouse gas reduction.
The oil and gas industry has stockpiled unused oil and gas leases on nearly three million acres of Utah’s public lands, so even under a leasing moratorium the fossil fuel industry would continue to operate during an energy transition to cleaner renewable energy sources.
This is an excerpt from our December EnviroNews column. View the full article here.