References to "Climate Change" Removed from Forest Service Document
On or around July 22, 2019, an official at the Department of Agriculture's Forest Service ordered staff to remove references to "climate change" and "greenhouse gases" from a regulatory document. The document indicated that the Forest Service would prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to analyze the effects of leasing certain national forest land for oil and gas development. A draft version of the document, published on August 26, 2019, noted that previous assessments of the environmental impacts of oil and gas leasing "did not include an analysis of . . . greenhouse gas emissions and climate change." The draft recognized "the need to address new greenhouse gas science and climate trends" and stated that the EIS would consider "impacts from greenhouse gas emissions." That statement and all other references to "climate change" and "greenhouse gases" were omitted from the final version of the document published on August 27, 2019.