The Climate Crisis and Public Lands

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Question: As president, How will you protect our public lands from the impact of climate change and energy extraction so they become part of the climate crisis solution?


Background: Energy extraction on our public lands is putting them in double jeopardy: by directly endangering fragile ecosystems, cultural heritage, and recreational access and by producing a full 1/4 of all US carbon emissions, directly contributing to the #ClimateCrisis that is in turn threatening our public lands in those very same ways.[1] Wildfires, flooding, drought, and fossil fuel driven energy extraction are impacting access to and use of our public lands for recreation[2] and other enjoyment. Additionally, climate change places at risk the $887 billion outdoor recreation economy[3] that makes up 2.2 percent of GDP and creates 7.6 million jobs. Significantly, the outdoor recreation economy is larger than the mining and drilling economies according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis.[4]


[1] Adam Eaton, Fossil Fuel Extraction on Public Lands Produces One Quarter of U.S. Emissions, SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, Nov. 27, 2018, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fossil-fuel-extraction-on-public-lands-produces-one-quarter-of-u-s-emissions/ citing U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY, FEDERAL LANDS GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND SEQUESTRATION IN THE UNITED STATES: ESTIMATES FOR 2005-14 2018, https://pubs.usgs.gov/sir/2018/5131/sir20185131.pdf.   

[2] Examining the Impact of Climate Change on Public Lands Recreation: Hearing before the Subcomm. On National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands of the H. Comm. on Natural Resources, 116th Cong. (2019), https://naturalresources.house.gov/hearings/examining-the-impacts-of-climate-change-on-public-lands-recreation.

[3] Outdoor Industry Association, Outdoor Recreation Economy 2017, https://outdoorindustry.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/OIA_RecEconomy_FINAL_Single.pdf

[4] U.S. Dep’t of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis, Outdoor Recreation Satellite Account: Updated Statistics for 2012-2016, https://www.bea.gov/data/special-topics/outdoor-recreation

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