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Drilling Causing 1/4 Of US Emissions, Says ESGS Report

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Oil Mining in Texas. A new report by a federal agency revealed that the extraction of fossil fuels from public lands contribute almost one-quarter of the U.S.'s carbon dioxide emission. The report was quietly released last weekend.   ( Laura Upshaw | Pixabay )

Last weekend, the U.S. Geological Survey quietly released a report about the emission of excess carbon dioxide across the country.

The report revealed that about one-quarter of the carbon dioxide emission across the United States come from the extraction of fossil fuels from public lands. This includes drilling, mining, transporting, refining, and then processing and burning.

The report was published online on Black Friday, Nov. 23, the same day that the National Climate Assessment's report on global warming was released.

America's Contribution To Global Warming

The report revealed that from 2005 to 2014, an average of 23.7 percent of the carbon dioxide emission came from the energy produced from the extraction of fossil fuels on public lands. Coal is the biggest contributor, producing about 60 percent of carbon dioxide emissions from public lands. Public lands are also responsible for the emission of other greenhouse gases such as methane and nitrous oxide.

"One of the first and best ways to respond is to end new fossil-fuel leasing on public lands," stated Taylor McKinnon of the Center of Biological Diversity in response to the report. "That will help reduce threats to the climate, clean air and water, endangered wildlife and wild places. Ending public lands leasing programs must be a pillar of any serious climate plan moving forward."

The report also detailed analysis of how much federally-owned ecosystems like forests and grasslands absorb the carbon dioxide emission of the country. It revealed that plants and soil in protected federal areas absorb around 195 million tons of carbon dioxide.

Despite the report, however, the White House is in the process of rolling back the Clean Power Plan, which was signed by former president Barack Obama in the hopes of controlling the country's emission of greenhouse gases. In addition, U.S. President Donald J. Trump continues to question global warming.

Climate Change Assessment 2018

The National Climate Assessment report, meanwhile, revealed that global warming is already impacting the United States and will continue making damages in the coming years. By 2100, federal scientists predict that global warming will cause an even greater harm to the economy than the Great Recession.

The 1,600-page report collected data from 13 federal agencies, including NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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