Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York was fact-checked in the middle of a hearing by a witness Wednesday over a claim about greenhouse emissions.
Ocasio-Cortez claimed in her opening statement of the hearing that oil and gas production on federal land accounted for a quarter of “greenhouse gas” emissions in the United States. Ocasio-Cortez has pushed the “Green New Deal,” an effort to counter climate change, since 2019.
“I just want to start off by correcting something the ranking member said in her opening statement. She claimed that oil and gas production on federal lands is responsible for about a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions,” Kathleen Sgamma, president of the Western Energy Alliance told the House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. “That’s a complete falsehood.”
The study by the United States Geological Survey said that oil and gas production accounted for 23.7% of carbon dioxide emissions over a 10-year period, and noted that the production accounted for far smaller percentages of methane and nitrogen.
“She claimed that oil and gas production on federal lands is responsible for about a 1/4 of greenhouse gas emissions. That’s a complete falsehood.
“That’s based on a… pic.twitter.com/FgqkinHjWO
— Western Energy Alliance (@WesternEnergy1) September 19, 2023
“That’s based on a misreading of a USGS study of greenhouse gas emissions. And if you actually look at the numbers, production on federal lands and waters accounts for 0.6% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, not ‘nearly a quarter,’” Sgamma continued. “Even the Interior Department stopped using that number after I simply pointed out the numbers from the USGS report.”
Sgamma also urged members of the subcommittee to carry out further oversight of the Interior Department, citing efforts to block additional development of oil and natural gas resources.
“I urge you to submit formal requests for information on the coordination between the Department of the Interior, including its various offices and bureaus, and environmental and activist groups,” Sgamma said in her opening statement. “I believe those requests would uncover a trove of information of inappropriate collusion outside the public eye and outside formal Administrative Procedure Act processes. The information would be very helpful as states and groups like Western Energy Alliance seek to overturn many of these regulations in court, a Herculean task given the sheer volume of them.”
President Joe Biden cancelled oil leases in Alaska granted late in the Trump administration, according to CBS, while proposing new regulations to limit energy production. Economic and energy experts have criticized Biden’s hostility to fossil fuel production, which some claim have caused higher energy prices.
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