Elizabeth Warren wants public lands to create jobs—and clean energy

Popular Science | 4/18/2019 | Staff
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While past presidential candidates have tended to run on a succinct “keep public lands public” stance, Warren’s 1,600-word proposal brings some complexity to the issue. Here are five things she wants to accomplish:

On her first day in office, Warren says she would sign a moratorium on new leases for fossil fuel drilling on public lands, citing that energy production in these areas is responsible for around 25 percent of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions. She’d also bring back methane pollution standards, which set a frequency for monitoring methane emissions from gas and oil wells and qualifications for engineers doing that monitoring, and the clean water rule, which expands the scope of waterways protected under the Clean Water Act, both of which were rolled back under President Trump’s administration.

Lands - Contribution - Change - Proposal - Fight

But “it’s not enough to end our public lands’ contribution to climate change,” the proposal says—it enlists them in the fight against it. Warren has plans to provide incentives for renewable energy production on public lands, with the hope that it’ll be responsible for 10 percent of America’s overall energy production.

“What it does do is send a signal, and it points us in the right direction—a direction that acknowledges that our new investment should not be in the dirty fuels of the past,” says Sharon Buccino, a senior advisor to the Natural Resources Defense Council action fund.

Lands - New—actions - End - Obama - Administration

Proposing to make public lands renewable energy-friendly isn’t new—actions were taken at the end of the Obama administration to put a moratorium on new leasing for coal mining on public lands—but Buccino says this would put policy back on track after Trump’s changes and expand the moratorium to fossil fuels other than coal.

In December of 2017, President Trump shrunk Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments by a total of about 2 million acres, removing...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Popular Science
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