The BLM’s Duty to Incorporate Climate Science into Permitting Practices and a Proposal for Implementing a Net Zero Requirement into Oil and Gas Permitting

32 COLO. NAT. RES., ENERGY & ENVTL. L. REV. __ (2021)

University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 410

92 Pages Posted: 29 Dec 2020 Last revised: 9 Jan 2021

See all articles by Jamie Pleune

Jamie Pleune

S.J. Quinney College of Law

John Ruple

University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law

Nada Culver

National Audubon Society

Date Written: December 28, 2020

Abstract

Almost one quarter of all U.S. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions come from fossil fuels extracted from public lands, and these resources are managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). This article argues that the BLM has a statutory duty to respond to climate change, which includes the duty to avoid exacerbating climate change. The article then moves the legal discussion from aspiration to action by proposing a legal strategy, using the existing legal framework, by which the BLM can achieve net zero emissions from all new mineral development activity. While the article focuses on oil and gas development, the same methodology could be applied to coal mining, tar sands, and other sources of GHG emissions.

Keywords: climate change, public lands, BLM, fossil fuel extraction

Suggested Citation

Pleune, Jamie and Ruple, John and Culver, Nada, The BLM’s Duty to Incorporate Climate Science into Permitting Practices and a Proposal for Implementing a Net Zero Requirement into Oil and Gas Permitting (December 28, 2020). 32 COLO. NAT. RES., ENERGY & ENVTL. L. REV. __ (2021), University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 410, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3756375

Jamie Pleune

S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States

John Ruple (Contact Author)

University of Utah, S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States
801-581-6545 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://law.utah.edu/research/stegner/

Nada Culver

National Audubon Society ( email )

Manhattan, NY
United States

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