Presidential hopeful pledges to ban fossil fuel production on public land

Senator Elizabeth Warren has promised to place a “total moratorium” on new federal oil and gas leases on her first day as president

Senator Elizabeth Warren

US Senator Elizabeth Warren has pledged to ban new fossil fuel production on federal lands on the first day she becomes president in 2020.

She says if she is voted in, she will immediately place a “total moratorium” on oil and gas leases on public land and offshore territory through signing an executive order.

The Democrat contender vowed she would block energy companies from fossil fuel development in these areas and instead use the land to build renewable power projects and increase the proportion of clean energy produced on federal and offshore land to 10%.

The senator’s commitment to address climate change contrasts with current President Trump’s encouragement of drilling on public lands and opening of virtually all federal offshore areas to oil and gas exploration.

US Government statistics show in 2018, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management generated $1.1 billion (£840m) in onshore oil and gas lease sales, nearly triple the previous annual record set in 2008.

She said: “It is wrong to prioritise corporate profits over the health and safety of our local communities. That’s why on my first day as president, I will sign an executive order that says no more drilling — a total moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases, including for drilling offshore and on public lands.

“I’d also reinstate the methane pollution rule to limit existing oil and gas projects from releasing harmful gases that poison our air and re-institute the clean water rule to protect our lakes, rivers and streams and the drinking water they provide.”

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