Jump to Navigation
Jump to Content

Interior’s Authority to Curb Fossil Fuel Leasing

July 2019

Citation: 49 ELR 10631

Issue: 7

Author: John D. Leshy

In his recent statements and testimony before the U.S. Congress, Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt has expressed doubt he has the legal authority to limit his unrelenting campaign to lease fossil fuels on America’s public lands. He has supplemented this by offering a rather bizarre argument that he has no such obligation because carbon emissions are being curbed more in the United States than in many other countries. The U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) reported not long ago that these emissions account for about one-quarter of total U.S. carbon emissions. This Comment discusses how Bernhardt’s position seriously misreads the applicable law.

John D. Leshy is Emeritus Professor at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and was Solicitor of the U.S. Department of the Interior from 1993 to 2001.

Download Article >>>