The Dallas Morning News

Haaland revokes Trump-era orders

Separate directive makes climate change an agency priority

- By MATTHEW DALY

WASHINGTON — Interior Secretary Deb Haaland on Friday revoked a series of Trump administra­tion orders that promoted fossil fuel developmen­t on public lands and waters, and issued a separate directive that prioritize­s climate change in agency decisions.

The moves are part of a government-wide effort by the Biden administra­tion to address climate change ahead of a virtual global summit on climate change that President Joe Biden is hosting next week.

“From day one, President Biden was clear that we must take a whole-of-government approach to tackle the climate crisis, strengthen the economy and address environmen­tal justice,” Haaland said in a statement. The new orders will “make our communitie­s more resilient to climate change and … help lead the transition to a clean energy economy,” she added.

The orders revoke Trumpera directives that boosted coal, oil and gas leasing on federal lands and promoted what Trump called “energy dominance.” Haaland also rescinded a Trump administra­tion order intended to increase oil drilling in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve.

Haaland called the orders by her predecesso­rs, Ryan Zinke and David Bernhardt, “inconsiste­nt with the department’s commitment to protect public health; conserve land, water, and wildlife; and elevate science.”

Collective­ly, the previous orders “tilted the balance of public land and ocean management without regard for climate change, equity or community engagement,” she said.

The new orders do not affect Interior’s ongoing review of proposals for oil, gas, coal and renewable energy developmen­t on public lands and waters, she said.

Environmen­tal groups pledged to work with Haaland to ensure department decisions are guided by science and respect for Indigenous communitie­s, wildlife, outdoor recreation and other uses.

More than 25% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions originate on public lands, and Interior has “unrivaled opportunit­ies to restore natural carbon sinks, responsibl­y deploy clean energy and reduce existing emissions,” said Collin O’mara, president and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation.

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DEB HAALAND

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