For Immediate Release
Groups Demand a Flaring Rule that Keeps Fossil Fuels in the Ground
WASHINGTON - In joint comments on the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed rule on flaring and venting, the Center for Biological Diversity and Friends of the Earth requested a final rule that truly reflects the urgency of keeping fossil fuels in the ground.
The rule is intended to limit the waste of taxpayer-owned natural gas on public lands, but the groups are arguing that minimizing waste is not enough. Keeping the world below 1.5° Celsius means acting aggressively to not only stop waste and methane leakage, but to stop new leasing altogether.
The joint comments said, “When considering the climate consequences of federal oil and gas operations, the most straightforward and effective alternative involves not only reduction of venting, leakage, and waste on existing leases, but also cessation of new fossil fuel leasing.”
Ceasing new leasing on public lands is a crucial step to meeting our climate goals, and remains well within the bounds of executive authority.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
Support Our People-Powered Media Model Today
If you believe the survival of independent media is vital to a healthy democracy, please step forward with a donation to nonprofit Common Dreams today:
“We need to manage leasing on our public lands as though a livable climate actually matters,” said Lukas Ross, climate and energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth, “That doesn’t mean being less wasteful with a fuel that needs to stay in the ground. That means actually leaving the fuel where it is now.”
“Although the BLM’s long-overdue proposal is a positive step toward reducing the enormous methane pollution and waste that the oil industry is spewing from our public lands, its unnecessary exemptions and loopholes don’t adequately respond to the urgent need to act on climate change,” said Michael Saul, senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “The best way to prevent climate pollution from our public lands is just to stop auctioning off these ecologically important areas to oil companies. If we are to have any hope of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change, we simply must keep the vast majority of fossil fuels in the ground.”
While the groups argued that BLM should end new leasing altogether, they also added that the proposed rule needs to be much more aggressive if it hopes to truly address flaring and venting. In outlining a framework for a stronger final rule, the groups suggested limiting exceptions to the proposed flaring caps, using land-use planning authority to limit waste, and injecting the social cost of carbon into royalty-setting decisions.
This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.
Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news outlet. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.
Please select a donation method:
Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.