The style of decision-making undertaken by the Trump administration has been raising awareness — and in some instances serious concerns — about the lack of information the public knows, and has a right to know, about how major policies are made by our government.
We have seen several disturbing examples of this recently as information related to decisions has come to light highlighting the process through which the federal government makes hugely impactful decisions about energy development on public lands on the United States.
In addition to being the world’s largest economy and its biggest military force, the United States is also one of the world’s largest energy asset managers, controlling subsurface mineral rights on 700 million acres. As a result, the U.S. government is a significant contributor to climate change, with 20 percent or more of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions the result of energy produced on publicly owned lands. Despite this massive impact, there is little information available about the amount of carbon dioxide and methane, two of the primary drivers of climate change, emitted on public lands.
This lack of basic information is especially troubling considering what we are learning about how the Trump administration views our public lands, which appears to be drill anytime and anywhere. We saw evidence of this philosophy earlier this year for example, when we learned through documents released via court order that the Trump administration’s decision to reduce the size of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase National Monuments were heavily influenced by oil and gas interests who wanted to lease the land for exploration and development.
To read the full article, visit The Hill.