It’s time for the USFS to cancel their rule to dump carbon pollution on public lands
National forests and grasslands are public lands for the public good. They are places where Americans hunt, fish, gather and forage, connect with nature, supporting many rural lives and livelihoods. They are also important habitats for countless species as well as a real climate solution, sequestering and storing large quantities of climate-changing gas. The Forest Service is charged with maintaining sustainable uses of the resources on these lands.
Now, for the first time ever, the Forest Service is proposing to allow one heavy industry to get permanent permits to use and occupy public lands. This rule change would allow permanent and exclusive permits for carbon capture, transportation, and sequestration and open the door for new heavy industrial development on National Forest System lands: CO2 capture factories; large power lines; CO2 pipelines and pumping stations; and in some forests and grasslands injection well rigs that mimic the oil and gas industry that got us into this climate disaster.
Oil and gas are the biggest potential benefactors of this change. The same companies that have dug up and fracked out these fossil fuels are now the leading companies proposing to get rich off of dumping some of their carbon pollution back into public lands. The income they are counting on is from tax credits paid for by the American public.
Rural communities and Tribal Nations are the biggest potential losers from the Forest Service action. Instead of working with communities to build healthier forests and economies, this rule change would allow “forever permits” that kept dangerous pipelines in the ground far past their best-by dates. And the Forest Service has not consulted with the hundreds of impacted Tribal Nations before proposing this rule change. Instead of prioritizing natural climate change and habitat solutions, this rule would allow one industry to privatize large parts of public lands and fragment habitats while ruining natural landscapes for future generations.
**The USFS comment period on their rule has closed, but sign up for CURE emails HERE so you don’t miss important updates on this and other important issues related to our natural lands.**