Energy & Environment

No mention of climate change in Interior’s draft strategic plan

Greg Nash

A draft version of the Interior Department’s five-year strategic plan does not mention anything about climate change, including whether the agency plans to fight it or how it will adapt.

The draft, first reported by The Nation, focuses heavily on plans to produce more fossil fuels and other forms of energy on public lands and the nation’s outer continental shelf.

“The DOI provides access to and manages energy and other resources including oil, gas, coal, water, timber, grazing, and non‐energy minerals on public lands and the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS),” reads a part of the draft plan that describes how the agency will generate revenue and use natural resources.


“The DOI is committed to achieve and maintain American energy dominance through responsible productivity of the public lands for the multiple use and economic benefit of present and future generations,” it continues.

“There are vast amounts of untapped domestic energy reserves on public lands.”

But the draft document doesn’t mention climate change at all.

By contrast, the previous plan, written by the Obama administration and covering 2014 through 2018, mentioned climate change more than 40 times.

The focus largely reflects how the department has operated under Trump. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has prioritized energy production as part of Trump’s “energy dominance” agenda, and worked to roll back numerous environmental policies he saw as a hinderance to that.

Zinke’s draft does mention conservation and recreation, but stresses the need to “balance” those with energy development.

“The DOI aims to balance the conservation of special places with resource development while also providing visitors with opportunities for outdoor recreation,” reads one section.

Interior is responsible for about a fifth of the nation’s land. Depending on the area and circumstances, it may need to manage that land for energy production, grazing, recreation, conservation, preservation or other purposes.

The strategic plan draft was dated Sept. 27. The final version is due to be released in December at the earliest.

Tags Climate change Interior Department Ryan Zinke

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