Federal Oil and Gas Leasing Program Challenged

Environmentalists have asked the Department of the Interior to study possible climate effects arising from the leasing of public lands for oil and gas leases.

The petition claims that oil and gas production on federal lands results in more than 200 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, and that the requested study of possible climate impacts arising from the leasing program is required by law.

The 40-page petition was filed by a group called WildEarth Guardians, with assistance from students at the University of California-Irvine School of Law. It also calls for study of the impact of hydraulic fracturing on air, water and seismic activity.

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