climate change

Would you end leasing for fossil fuel extraction on federal lands?

Yes

Yes, end federal leasing

Joe Biden

Former vice president

Biden's climate change plan commits to “banning new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters.” It also commits to “establishing targeted programs to enhance reforestation and develop renewables on federal lands and waters with the goal of doubling offshore wind by 2030.”

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Joe Biden
Biden

Cory Booker

U.S. senator, New Jersey

Booker supports ending new fossil fuel extraction leases on federal lands, he told The Post. In his climate plan, Booker vows to “sign an executive order barring all new onshore or offshore fossil fuel leases.”

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Cory Booker
Booker

Pete Buttigieg

Mayor, South Bend, Ind.

Buttigieg supports ending new leases for fossil fuel extraction on federal lands, he told The Post.

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Pete Buttigieg
Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Former mayor, San Antonio

“Castro would end leasing of federal lands for fossil fuel extraction and exploration, including for fracking,” a campaign spokesperson told The Post. His climate plan said, “we will immediately stop the exploration and extraction of fossil fuels on public lands and end all taxpayer subsidies of fossil fuel production.”

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Julian Castro
Castro

Bill de Blasio

Mayor, New York City

De Blasio supports stopping new fossil fuel extraction leases on federal lands, he told The Post.

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Bill de Blasio
de Blasio

John Delaney

Former U.S. representative, Maryland

Delaney supports stopping new fossil fuel extraction leases on federal lands, he told The Post.

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John Delaney
Delaney

Tulsi Gabbard

U.S. representative, Hawaii

“Yes, I would end the leasing of federal land and waters for fossil fuel extraction,” Gabbard told The Post.

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Tulsi Gabbard
Gabbard

Kirsten Gillibrand (Dropped out)

U.S. senator, New York

Gillibrand is no longer running for president. She co-sponsored the Keep It in the Ground Act of 2017. “We also need to rejoin the Paris climate agreement, stop the expansion of offshore drilling and drilling on public lands and require companies to report climate risks,” her campaign website said.

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Kirsten Gillibrand
Gillibrand

Kamala D. Harris

U.S. senator, California

Harris “will phase out all fossil fuel development on public lands and implement conservation and renewable energy strategies to make our public lands net carbon sinks by 2030,” her climate plan said. “After immediately halting all new fossil fuel leases on federal lands and waters, Kamala will use existing authorities and work with Congress to phase out existing leases and implement emissions mitigation strategies such as capping methane flaring and linking production royalties to the social cost of carbon so that oil and gas companies are paying for the climate damages they are causing.” Harris co-sponsored bills to designate certain areas as protected wilderness.

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Kamala Harris
Harris

John Hickenlooper (Dropped out)

Former governor, Colorado

Hickenlooper is no longer running for president. “Yes, for new leases,” Hickenlooper told The Post. “As president, I will be committed to urgently addressing the climate challenges we face. Recognizing that emissions from fossil fuels extracted from U.S. public lands account for around 25% of total U.S. emissions, as president I would ban new leases for fossil fuel extraction on federal lands.”

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John Hickenlooper
Hickenlooper

Jay Inslee (Dropped out)

Governor, Washington state

Inslee is no longer running for president. “Yes. I support the 'Keep It In the Ground Act,' and as president, I would take immediate executive action to ban new fossil fuel leasing on public lands and offshore waters,” Inslee told The Post.

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Jay Inslee
Inslee

Amy Klobuchar

U.S. senator, Minnesota

Klobuchar supports ending new leases for fossil fuel extraction on federal lands, a campaign spokesperson told The Post.

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Amy Klobuchar
Klobuchar

Wayne Messam

Mayor, Miramar, Fla.

Messam supports ending new leases for fossil fuel extraction on federal lands, he told The Post.

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Wayne Messam
Messam

Seth Moulton (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, Massachusetts

Moulton is no longer running for president. “Yes. We need to listen to science,” Moulton told The Post. “That means protecting America’s natural environment from degradation associated with energy extraction. As President, I’d do whatever it takes to protect our public lands for this generation and those to come.”

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Seth Moulton
Moulton

Beto O'Rourke

Former U.S. representative, Texas

O’Rourke “will set a first-ever, net-zero emissions by 2030 carbon budget for federal lands, stopping new fossil fuel leases, changing royalties to reflect climate costs, and accelerating renewables development and forestation,” a campaign spokesman told The Post. He pledged to “protect our most wild, beautiful, and biodiverse places for generations to come — including more of the Arctic and of our sensitive landscapes and seascapes than ever before — and establish National Parks and Monuments that more fully tell our American story.”

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Beto O'Rourke
O'Rourke

Tim Ryan

U.S. representative, Ohio

Ryan supports stopping new fossil fuel extraction leases on federal lands, he told The Post.

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Tim Ryan
Ryan

Bernie Sanders

U.S. senator, Vermont

Sanders “is proud to have introduced the Keep It in the Ground Act in 2015 with Senator Merkley,” his campaign told The Post. He “believes that if we are truly serious about leaving a planet that is habitable for our grandchildren, we must keep oil, gas, and coal in the ground.”

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Bernie Sanders
Sanders

Joe Sestak

Former U.S. representative, Pennsylvania

Sestak supports stopping new fossil fuel extraction leases on federal lands, he told The Post.

Candidate positions highlighted
Joe Sestak
Sestak

Tom Steyer

Billionaire activist

“Keep publicly-owned oil, coal, and gas in the ground by stopping the expansion of fossil fuel leases and establishing a careful process to wind down federal onshore and offshore fossil fuel production,” Steyer's climate plan framework said.

Candidate positions highlighted
Tom Steyer
Steyer

Eric Swalwell (Dropped out)

U.S. representative, California

Swalwell is no longer running for president. “Yes, I support ending the leasing of federal land and waters for fossil fuel extraction,” Swalwell told The Post. “I have co-sponsored and voted for numerous bills to ban oil extraction from federal lands.

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Eric Swalwell
Swalwell

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. senator, Massachusetts

“Any serious effort to address climate change must include public lands,” Warren told The Post. “As president, I would issue an executive order on day one banning all new fossil fuel leases, including for drilling or fracking offshore and on public lands.” In her clean energy plan, Warren pledges “to generate 10% of our overall electricity needs from renewable sources offshore or on public lands.” She co-sponsored the Keep It in the Ground Act of 2017.

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Elizabeth Warren
Warren

Marianne Williamson

Author

“Marianne Williamson believes any public land policy must not do further damage to our environment. Sen. Warren's plan is a good template and a reasonable place to begin,” a Williamson spokesman told E&E News. Warren pledged to ban new fossil fuel leasing on federal lands.

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Marianne Williamson
Williamson

Andrew Yang

Tech entrepreneur

Yang supports ending leasing for fossil fuel extraction on federal lands, his campaign told The Post.

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Andrew Yang
Yang

No

No, don’t end federal leasing

Steve Bullock

Governor, Montana

“No. I believe other policy measures can be used to appropriately transition our current framework of federal leasing and to better reflect the social cost of greenhouse gases from extraction,” Bullock told The Post. He opposed Obama's 2016 move to stop new coal leasing on federal lands.

Candidate positions highlighted
Steve Bullock
Bullock

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Michael Bennet

U.S. senator, Colorado

Bennet did not provide an answer to this question by publication.

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Michael Bennet
Bennet

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Background A significant amount of the nation’s fossil fuel production happens on federal lands and waters — 42 percent of coal, 24 percent of crude oil and 13 percent of natural gas in 2017. The extraction and combustion of these fuels accounted for nearly a quarter of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions between 2005 and 2014, according to a study from the U.S. Geological Survey study. The Keep It In the Ground Act by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) would end new federal leases for fossil fuel extraction on federal lands and waters. The Obama administration issued a moratorium on coal leasing in 2016, but it was reversed by the Trump administration, an action that has led to an ongoing legal battle.

U.S. fossil fuel production in 2017

Shown as the amount of CO2 that would be generated by burning the fuel

Coal

595M tons produced on federal land

 

1.4B tons

U.S. total

Crude oil

346M tons

1.5B tons

Natural gas

239M tons

2B tons

Sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency

U.S. fossil fuel production in 2017

Shown as the amount of CO2 that would be generated by burning the fuel

Coal

Crude oil

Natural gas

595M tons produced on federal land

346M tons

239M tons

1.4B tons

U.S. total

2B tons

1.5B tons

Sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency

U.S. fossil fuel production in 2017

Shown as the amount of CO2 that would be generated by burning the fuel

Coal

Crude oil

Natural gas

595M tons produced on federal land

346M tons

239M tons

1.4B tons

U.S. total

1.5B tons

2B tons

Sources: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency

How we compiled candidate positions

The Washington Post sent a detailed questionnaire to every Democratic campaign asking whether they support various climate change policies. We organized candidates with similar stances into groups using a combination of those answers, legislative records, action taken in an executive role and other public comments, such as policy discussion on campaign websites, social media posts, interviews, town halls and other news reports. See something that we missed? Let us know.

The page will update to reflect candidates’ positions as they become more clear. We expect candidates to develop more detailed policy positions throughout the campaign, and this page will update as we learn more about their plans. We will also note if candidates change their position on an issue. At initial publication, this page included major candidates who had announced a run for president or an exploratory committee by June 1. The Post will reach out to additional candidates as they enter the race and then include them here.