(January 10, 2020) — Positioning their climate agenda for 2020, House Democrats in December introduced sweeping climate legislation that calls for halting fossil fuel production on public lands for a minimum of a year. The bill is to prepare the U.S. for drastic cuts in output in order to meet so called “warming pollution” goals.
Natural Resources US House Committee proposes net zero greenhouse gas emissions on public lands by 2040 reports BPN the propane industry leading source for news since 1939 011020
As reported by The Hill, the legislation from House Natural Resources Committee requires the Department of the Interior to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions on public lands by 2040. “The Trump administration is handing out drilling and coal mining leases like candy, and no thought is ever given by this administration to the climate change impacts,” asserted Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), a bill sponsor and chairman of the committee. “Our bill is about what’s right for the whole country and not just for polluting industries.”

He outlined that a yearlong moratorium on fossil fuel production would give the Interior Department time to assess how to meet the 2040 goal of net-zero emissions. The legislation also sets targets in five-year increments the department must meet. Interior would be barred from issuing new leases until target compliance was met.

In addition, the proposal would ratchet up the royalties paid by energy producers that drill and mine on more than 600 million acres of public land, raising fees from about 12% to 18%. The increased costs would be used to create a transition fund to assist communities largely dependent on the fossil fuel industry, for land reclamation,

environmental cleanup, and retraining of workers. Grijalva noted that the larger royalties would serve as “fees that big oil, and not taxpayers, will have to cover.” Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) commented that the bill would curb U.S. emissions, specifically identifying methane she said was being leaked by oil and gas operators.

(SOURCE: The Weekly Propane Newsletter, published by BPN available by subscription)