Aug 1, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Climate deal's CO2 cuts swamp fossil fuel emissions: analysis

Illustration of a hand with scissor cutting emissions from a smoke stack
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Emissions from oil leasing mandates in the revived Democratic energy bill would be tiny compared to carbon cuts expected from the legislation, a new analysis finds.

Why it matters: Pro-drilling provisions in the delicate deal have caused some grumbling among activists, even as huge swaths of the climate movement back the overall bill.

What they found: "For every ton of emissions increases generated by [the bill's] oil and gas provisions, at least 24 tons of emissions are avoided by the other provisions," concludes Energy Innovation, a firm that produces research in support of stronger climate policies.

  • The Democratic deal includes the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Alaskan leasing, and over the long term ties renewables lease sales to continued oil-and-gas auctions.
  • Energy Innovation cites prior studies showing higher oil production on federal lands is largely offset by lower output on non-federal tracts and OPEC.

The big picture: Energy Innovation finds the bill would shove U.S. greenhouse gas emissions down to 37%-41% below 2005 levels by 2030, compared to 24% without the measure.

That's largely consistent with separate Rhodium Group estimates Axios Generate covered Friday, though the Rhodium lower range shows shallower cuts.

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