Climate + Energy

Interior Truly Denies Climate Change

Although the U.S. Interior Department’s ongoing approval of fossil fuel development on our public lands speaks volumes to the agency’s refusal to combating climate change, it sure helps to have words convey how the Department really feels.

In response to concerns raised by WildEarth Guardians over the climate impacts of open public lands for fracking in Utah, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management made clear, in no uncertain terms, its denial over climate change.  In spite of virtually unanimous scientific consensus, years of study and confirmation by climate scientists throughout the world, and despite even the President’s own acknowledgement that no challenge poses a greater threat to our future than climate change, the Bureau of Land Management says there is “substantial” disagreement and uncertainty over climate change.

Actions speak louder than words, but words certainly add clarity.  At the Interior Department, climate denial is clearly in full force and effect.

climate denial at Interior

Read for yourself the agency’s response in their own purported “environmental assessment” on pages 62-63 (they also say the same thing on page 68 of this “environmental assessment“).

And think this is just an anomaly?  As reported here before, the Interior Department’s track record on acknowledging and taking responsibility for the climate impacts of fossil fuel development is about as ugly as it gets and includes dismissing carbon costs, extolling the climate benefits of renewable energy while completely ignoring the massive amount of greenhouse gas emissions released by oil, gas, and coal development on public lands, and Sally Jewell herself implicitly denying the climate implications of more fossil fuel development.

It’s been bad, but clearly it’s getting worse at Interior.  With the agency’s now explicit denial of climate change, it’s clear that the Department of the Interior may be the biggest single impediment to climate progress in the Obama Administration.

UPDATE:  Earlier this week, WildEarth Guardians directly challenged the Interior Department’s climate denial, filing protests to overturn the agency’s latest oil and gas leasing plans.  With Sally Jewell also this week now saying that “cutting carbon pollution” should inform Interior Department decisions, there’s no way these latest oil and gas leasing plans can be justified.

6 replies »

  1. Unbelievable! The world laughs at these ignorant deniers, but its really not funny. They are causing untold harm and threats to future. Bribery/corruption is the only logical explanation.


  2. *Well, Jewell the business-major has certainly learned from Obama: give lip service while stabbing the entire Earth.
    Electoral politics is boundlessly corrupt. Lower-echelon agency personnel know that the climate has been severely and quickly altered, but you must understand that appointees and politically-oriented superiors pass the word down to the local civil servant administrators to write such trash as you see above highlighted in yellow.
    The entirety of the argument is between those who feel that the Earth is or should be available for their abuse – it’s death for a quick buck for investors and offspring, and those who feel that only part of the Earth should be squandered/scrificed for pollution and exploitation.
    So, you see, the problem ignores the actual life of Earth, while fighting chimps argue over who gets to rape them all (and you, and me).

    private property is an aberration. private land an illusion a fiction supported by violent means.
    Does not North America belong more truly to the Grizzly bear, the once-massive numbers of bison, the antelope, the elk (read 18th and 19th century accounts!), the wolf, the forest? What of the bumblebees now experiencing severe diminution? what of the wild growing things and animals, the once-uncountable birds?
    The arrogant Euroamericans came and using violence wrested the life from the land, now leaving only pollution, ugly cement and asphalt, and squabbling overpopulations of themselves.

    When each dies, it can be understood that private property is the foulest illusion ever created.