BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Biden administration said Friday that industry regulators for the first time will begin analyzing greenhouse gas emissions from federal oil and gas leases on a national scale, as they prepare to hold lease sales in numerous western sates next year.

The announcement from the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management came as officials released a report saying fossil fuel extraction from federal lands produced more than 1 billion tons (918 million metric tons) of greenhouse gases last year. That’s about one-fifth of all energy related emissions.

President Joe Biden campaigned on promises to end new drilling on public lands to help combat climate change. But his attempt to suspend new leases while oil and gas sales underwent a sweeping review, was blocked by a federal judge in Louisiana.

Including greenhouse gas emissions in lease sale reviews will allow the administration to highlight what scientists say are the high social costs of greenhouse gas emissions — from rising sea levels and wildfires, to public health problems.

Environmental assessments that include a greenhouse gas analysis will be released in coming days for lease sales planned early next year in Colorado, Montana, the Dakotas, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Mississippi and Alabama, bureau officials said.

Matthew Brown, The Associated Press

News from © The Canadian Press, 2021. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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