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Groups challenge federal oil, gas leasing on climate grounds

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Two environmental groups say in a lawsuit the federal government needs to consider the potential effects of climate change before allowing oil and gas drilling on public land.

The federal lawsuit filed Thursday in Washington, D.C., challenges almost 400 oil and gas leases the U.S. Bureau of Land Management recently has issued in Wyoming, Utah and Colorado.

The groups WildEarth Guardians and Physicians for Social Responsibility say almost 10 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions trace back to publicly owned oil and gas reserves.

BLM spokeswoman Cindy Wertz declined to comment, citing agency policy not to comment on pending litigation.

Several groups have joined in a movement to end fossil-fuel extraction on public lands. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce says doing so would wipe out thousands of jobs.

 

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