By Amanda Eggert, High Country News
This story was originally published by the Montana Free Press and is republished here by permission.
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland issued two secretarial orders Friday aimed at making good on her pledge to fight climate change and prioritize environmental justice.
Order No. 3399 creates a Climate Task Force within the Interior Department that’s tasked with prioritizing climate change in policy making and budgeting, addressing environmental injustices and finding ways to “foster economic revitalization” of energy-producing communities. The task force will also participate in a review of the federal oil and gas leasing program and ensure that environmental reviews associated with renewable energy projects are expedited.
In the order, the Interior Department affirms its commitment to making science-based decisions as it assesses the impacts of climate change on public land and its uses, and explores opportunities to slow climate change through the use of methods like carbon sequestration.