AOC Gets Fact-Checked After Falsehood About Greenhouse Emissions

On Tuesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) made a misleading statement regarding greenhouse gas emissions, which was quickly debunked.

Ocasio-Cortez claimed that oil and gas drilling on federal lands is responsible for roughly 25% of U.S. carbon emissions before a House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources hearing on the Biden administration’s mismanagement of the federal onshore oil and gas program.

Western Energy Alliance President Kathleen Sgamma thinks the New York Democrat is way off base.

At the outset of her testimony, Sgamma called attention to Ocasio-Cortez’s error before providing evidence to correct the record.

She noted that this conclusion stems from a misunderstanding of a USGS report on gas emissions. If you look at the numbers, one would see that federal lands and waters output doesn’t account for almost a quarter of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Sgamma said after she called out the USGS report’s data, even the Interior Department stopped using that figure.

Democrats typically claim that federal land drilling is responsible for a sizable share of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, which they use to justify their efforts to halt drilling on federal lands. This, however, is not correct. The USGS report referenced at the hearing confirms that fossil fuels extracted from federal lands account for 23.7% of the country’s total emissions. It does not follow, however, that drilling on federal lands causes these emissions.

Sgamma estimates that only 0.6% of emissions come from fossil fuel exploitation on federal lands.

So, what accounts for this dissimilarity? The Western Energy Alliance claims that the consumption of fossil fuels, rather than the extraction process, is responsible for the vast majority of emissions related to fossil fuels derived from federal lands.

To get anywhere close to what Ocasio-Cortez claimed, you had to consider the complete life cycle of those fuels, from extraction through combustion at the end.