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The order marks the latest in a string of court rulings over the past decade that have faulted the US for inadequate consideration of greenhouse gas emissions when approving oil, gas, and coal projects on federal land, per the AP.
US District Judge Rudolph Contreras in Washington appeared to go a step further than other judges in his order issued late Tuesday. Previous rulings focused on individual lease sales or permits. But Contreras said that when the Bureau of Land Management auctions public lands for oil and gas leasing, officials must consider emissions from past, present, and foreseeable future oil and gas leases nationwide.
“Given the national, cumulative nature of climate change, considering each individual drilling project in a vacuum deprives the agency and the public of the context necessary to evaluate oil and gas drilling on federal land,” wrote Contreras, an appointee of President Obama. It came in a lawsuit that challenged leases issued in Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado in 2015 and 2016, during Obama’s administration. Two competing quotes: