December 17, 2019 / 11:01 AM / a month ago

Democrats to float bill to tackle greenhouse gas emissions on public land

WASHINGTON, Dec 17 (Reuters) - U.S. House Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday will unveil a bill that aims to zero out emissions from drilling, mining and other activities on federal land and waters by 2040.

The bill reflects the ambitious climate agenda of Democrats who view global warming as an urgent threat, but is unlikely to become law unless the party gains ground in the Republican-controlled Senate and unseats Republican President Donald Trump in next year’s election.

Congressman Raul Grijalva, chair of the Democrat-controlled House Natural Resources Committee, will be joined by his committee and three environmental groups to release details of the panel’s bill which offers measures to slash emissions as well as “simultaneously promoting positive climate actions.”

The committee said the legislation would create a pathway for the Interior Department and Forest Service, which oversee federal land and waters, to achieve the net-zero goal.

The U.S. Geological Survey found in a 2018 report that a quarter of carbon emissions come from federal lands.

The Trump administration has moved to expand drilling and mining on federal land as part of its “energy dominance” agenda by speeding up permitting, rolling back rules governing methane and carbon emissions and undoing an Obama-era moratorium on mining on federal land.

The Interior Department under Trump also plans to expand offshore drilling on 90% of offshore waters but those plans are on hold as litigation to stop it plays out. (Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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