RENO, Nev. (AP) — Former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke says he's willing to consider a moratorium on new leases to drill for oil and gas on federal lands as a way to help combat climate change.

The Democratic presidential hopeful told reporters between campaign speeches in Reno and Carson City on Thursday the nation needs to rethink how it protects its public lands.

O'Rourke says that concern, combined with the need to reduce total greenhouse emissions, makes it especially important that U.S. taxpayers don't allow oil and gas companies to contribute more to the problem.

He said that "perhaps creating a moratorium on any future leases — and reviewing all those that are in existence — is in order."