The Interior Department Scrubs Climate Change From Its Strategic Plan

The Interior Department Scrubs Climate Change From Its Strategic Plan

SOURCE: The Nation DATE: October 25, 2017 SNIP: In the next five years, millions of acres of America’s public lands and waters, including some national monuments and relatively pristine coastal regions, could be auctioned off for oil and gas development, with little thought for environmental consequences. That’s according to a leaked draft, obtained by The Nation, of the Department of the Interior’s strategic vision: It states that the DOI is committed to achieving “American energy dominance” through the exploitation of “vast amounts” of untapped energy reserves on public lands. Alarmingly, the policy blueprint—a 50-page document—does not once mention climate change or climate science. EPA websites have also been scrubbed of most references to climate change. At Interior and the Department of Energy, scientists have been discouraged from referring to climate change in grant proposals or press releases. While disregarding climate change, the 2018–2022 strategic plan places a premium on facilitating oil and gas development. Not surprisingly, one of the DOI’s key performance indicators for the next five years will be the number of acres of public lands made available for oil and natural-gas...
Secretary Zinke Announces Largest Oil &Gas Lease Sale in U.S. History

Secretary Zinke Announces Largest Oil &Gas Lease Sale in U.S. History

SOURCE: Department of the Interior DATE: October 24, 2017 SNIP: U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke today announced that the Department is proposing the largest oil and gas lease sale ever held in the United States –76,967,935 acres in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. The proposed region-wide lease sale, offering an area about the size of New Mexico, is scheduled for March 2018 and includes all available unleased areas on the Gulf’s Outer Continental Shelf, surpassing last year’s region-wide lease sale by about one million acres. “In today’s low-price energy environment, providing the offshore industry access to the maximum amount of opportunities possible is part of our strategy to spur local and regional economic dynamism and job creation and a pillar of President Trump’s plan to make the United States energy dominant,” Secretary Zinke said. “In order to strengthen America’s energy dominance, we must anticipate and plan for our needs for decades to come,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources. “The administration’s decision to move forward with the largest offshore lease sale in our nation’s history is a key part of that effort. Whether in Alaska or the Gulf of Mexico, we should all support responsible development because it creates high-paying jobs, strengthens national security, and keeps energy affordable for our families and...
Seismic Oil Exploration Kills Krill at Far Higher Rate

Seismic Oil Exploration Kills Krill at Far Higher Rate

SOURCE: Yale e360 DATE: June 23, 2017 SNIP: Seismic air guns commonly used in the search for undersea oil kill off far more zooplankton than once thought, according to a new study that raises questions about the effect of such seismic surveys on the health of ocean ecosystems. For the research, which was published in Nature Ecology and Evolution, scientists tested air gun signals in the ocean off Southern Tasmania and found a rise in mortality rate of 18 percent to between 40 and 60 percent. One reason was that the impacts were felt by the krill out to 1.2 kilometers, 100 times farther than the assumed range of 10...