Congressman Lowenthal Introduces Bipartisan Legislation to Require Online Reporting of Greenhouse Gas Pollution from Energy Production on Public Lands

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (RealEstateRama) — Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), joined by members of the Safe Climate Caucus and bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus today introduced legislation to require the Department of the Interior (DOI) to publicly disclose the amounts and sources of greenhouse gas pollution from fossil fuel development on public lands in order to promote greater transparency in the Federal energy leasing programs.

Studies estimate that nearly a quarter of the U.S. energy-related greenhouse gas emissions are from fossil fuels that are produced from U.S. federal lands and waters, although the exact number is uncertain.

The Transparency in Energy Production Act of 2016 would require the DOI to create an online database of greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels extracted from public lands, including all vented, flared, and leaked natural gas and all fossil fuels used on-site. The bill would also require the DOI to report the amounts of energy produced by renewable energy projects on public lands and submit a report to Congress on DOI’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from fossil fuel development on public lands.

“The first step on the path to reducing emissions is to simply know what we’re dealing with: what are the greenhouse gas emissions and where are they coming from?” Congressman Lowenthal said. “This bill will increase the transparency around our energy production programs on federal lands and waters, especially when it comes to methane emissions, often called the “blind spot” of our federal energy program.”

In a recent report entitled Oil and Gas: Interior could do more to account for and manage natural gas emissions, the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that the DOI does not collect the necessary information to understand and limit emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Due to a lack of information, Americans do not know the amount of climate-damaging greenhouse gas pollution originating from their public lands.  This bill would give the DOI tools to ensure that they are fully accounting for methane and other greenhouse gas emissions.

“This legislation is sorely needed because the federal government has never tracked how much carbon pollution comes from fossil fuels pulled out of public lands,” The Wilderness Society Carbon Management Campaign Manager Joshua Mantell said.  “We applaud the sponsors of the ‘Transparency in Energy Production Act’ for embracing the adage that you cannot manage what you don’t first measure. Bipartisan efforts such as this are essential to coming up with solutions to reduce the threat of global climate change.”

The Transparency in Energy Production Act of 2016 is cosponsored by Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Ted Deutch, Carlos Curbelo, Niki Tsongas, and Chris Gibson.

To read the full text of the bill click here.

Source: Congressman Alan Lowenthal

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