Gross injustices come with the federal oil and gas program

As a Mountain Mama living on the Colorado waterfront, I am a strong advocate for protecting our lands and waters so that our children can enjoy our quality of outdoor life for generations to come. One of the main ways to create a more resilient future, which our children deserve, is to tackle the causes of climate change head-on, which is precisely what the Biden administration has been doing since day one.

The Home Office is still working on its interim report, due this month, on findings from a comprehensive review of the federal oil and gas program. It is extremely important for the administration to carefully consider the production of fossil fuels on public lands, as it is a known and potent ingredient in the climate crisis, causing about a quarter of pollution by greenhouse gases in the United States. In addition to generating dirty fuels and polluting our air, the extraction of fossil fuels on public lands damages the public lands we all own. The extraction process can severely affect the places we go to enjoy recreation, exercise, clean air, rejuvenation and exploration with our children.

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On the first day of his term, President Joe Biden began his “march” against climate change and signed an executive order to restore science to the fight against the climate crisis, followed by an executive order a week later that placed the climate crisis in the middle of the United States. foreign policy and national security. He also ordered that the soon-to-be-released review examine a federal oil and gas program that has not been reassessed in decades, including the halt of new oil and gas leases on public lands or in offshore waters during the assessment. To top it off, he’s set an ambitious goal in his America the Beautiful initiative to conserve 30% of America’s land, water and ocean areas by 2030.

One of the glaring injustices of the current program, which I’m sure will be addressed in the report, is the amount of money taxpayers are cheated, first of all the low royalty rates that companies pay to extract. fossil fuels on public land and, second, because companies do not clean the wells they leave behind and pass the exorbitant expenses on to the public.

Recently, Colorado Senator Michael Bennet reintroduced legislation that would increase funding to clean up abandoned oil and gas wells on federal lands. In addition, we will also likely see more money for cleaning up “orphan” wells in the bipartisan infrastructure package that will go through Congress this summer. For good reason.

The Interior Ministry has just reported that there are some 14,440 orphan wells on public land for which extractive industry companies have shirked their responsibility.

All of this is great news for moms across America. Going out is important for our children, which is why it is essential that they have access to a healthy and pollution-free exterior. All moms want their kids to thrive. We are concerned about the disproportionate and damaging role oil and gas extraction plays in exacerbating climate change, as we do not want to impose on our children a world ravaged by climate change – a future of air pollution, drought, devastating forest fires, floods, shrinking snowpack and rising temperatures.

Mountain Mamas – a Colorado rights organization that works to protect our air, water, climate and public lands – is grateful for the bold efforts of Bennet and Biden to ensure a better future for generations to come up. This is the kind of climate action our children and grandchildren will be thankful for the rest of their lives for.

About Georgia Duvall

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