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Almost one quarter of all U.S. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions come from fossil fuels extracted from public lands, and these resources are managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). This article argues that the BLM has a statutory duty to respond to climate change, which includes the duty to avoid exacerbating climate change. The article then moves the legal discussion from aspiration to action by proposing a legal strategy, using the existing legal framework, by which the BLM can achieve net zero emissions from all new mineral development activity. While the article focuses on oil and gas development, the same methodology could be applied to coal mining, tar sands, and other sources of GHG emissions.
Ruple, John C.; Please, Jamie Gibbs; and Culver, Nada Wolff, "The BLM’s Duty to Incorporate Climate Science into Permitting Practices and a Proposal for Implementing a Net Zero Requirement into Oil and Gas Permitting" (2021). Utah Law Faculty Scholarship. 252.