Stop new oil drilling, cancel Trump leases on public land – YubaNet

WASHINGTON, June 10, 2021 – Climate, indigenous and conservation groups today called on the Biden administration to suspend new drilling permits and rescind illegal Trump-era oil and gas leases on public lands. The letter Urges the Home Office to adopt a series of interim measures to protect the climate, public lands, oceans and communities pending the completion of the Department’s climate review of federal fossil fuel programs.

“To demonstrate climate leadership and reduce emissions, the United States must act now where we have the capacity,” the letter reads. “Given the Home Secretary’s authority over the federal fossil fuel field, this is the place to start.”

Today’s letter quotes the new International Energy Agency report showing that even relying on controversial biofuels and unproven carbon capture technologies, new fossil fuel project approvals are inconsistent with limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. He calls for an emergency bond, a halt to federal coal leasing, and a postponement of decisions on resource management plans until the administration’s climate review is complete.

In January, 574 conservation, Native American, religious and business groups sent the text of the then elected president for a proposal decree prohibit new rentals and permits of fossil fuels on federal public lands and waters.

In February, the Biden administration released a decree suspend leasing of oil and gas on land and at sea pending a climate review of federal fossil fuel programs. In April, more than 200 groups filed formal comments with the administration calling for a formal climate review of federal fossil fuel programs under the National Environmental Policy Act.

In June, the Home Office plans to release an interim report regarding its full review, including the findings of an online forum in March and public comments requested until April 15.

Today’s letter, written by the Western Environmental Law Center, Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians and Sierra Club, was signed by Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment, Citizens for a Healthy Community, Earthworks, Friends of the Earth, Waterkeeper Alliance, San Juan Collaborative for Health Equity, Physicians for Social Responsibility and Western Watersheds Project. Many group members live on the front lines of fossil fuel pollution and in communities affected by climate change.

“It is essential that President Biden deliver on his promise of bold climate action and a just transition from fossil fuels,” said Jeremy Nichols, climate and energy program director for WildEarth Guardians. “We need a break from selling public land for fracking, but we need to take advantage of this break and take further action to curb fossil fuel production and keep our oil, gas and coal in. floor.”

“We are grateful for President Biden’s climate leadership and the commitments his administration has made,” said Erik Schlenker-Goodrich, executive director of the Western Environmental Law Center. “The sensible recommendations we have provided to the administration today are aimed at maximizing the opportunities for the administration to align federal fossil fuel programs with the urgency imposed by the climate crisis.”

“We’re glad there is a hiatus on federal fossil fuel leasing, but we need to do more now. The damage is all too obvious to communities across the region everywhere, ”said Carol David, director of Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment. “Local farmers and traditional practitioners told us about a heat shield that for years prevented regular rainfall in the Shiprock area of ​​New Mexico. We have seen plants struggle to survive and an absence of life in its simplest form: lizards, snakes, ants. The climate has visibly deteriorated for people who have lived in the shadow of two power plants. We need to do more by controlling our dependence on oil, gas and coal. “

The climate emergency demands bold leadership from the Biden administration, ”said Taylor McKinnon, campaign manager at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The rental break and the climate review are good first steps, but much more is needed to limit the damage from hydraulic drilling and fracking that is undermining US climate goals.”

“The western United States is hotter and drier than ever and experiencing severe or prolonged extreme drought,” said Natasha Léger, executive director of Citizens for a Healthy Community. “Parts of Colorado and Utah have already warmed by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. It is hurting people, communities and our food supply with water scarcity, forest fires and chaotic weather conditions. The Biden administration must end the federal government’s complicity in climate degradation by ending new oil and gas leases and permits on federal lands.

“The endangered waters of the West have already been seriously threatened by hydraulic fracturing and the climate impacts of oil and gas development on our public lands,” said Kate Hudson, advocacy coordinator for the Western United States for Waterkeeper Alliance. “We urge the Secretary to protect this precious and diminishing resource by removing all land near surface water and permanent, seasonal and intermittent wetlands from rental availability while the DOI conducts its comprehensive programmatic review if necessary.”

“The climate emergency does not allow half measures,” said Raena Garcia, activist for fossil fuels and land with Friends of the Earth. “Biden must keep his promise to tackle the nearly 25% of US emissions that come from the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels from our public lands and waters. Stopping all new drilling, including the authorization and issuance of leases for the fire sale of Trump’s public lands at the 11th hour, is a critical step in keeping that promise. “

“The first law of holes is, ‘When you’re in it, stop digging,’” said Erik Molvar of the Western Watersheds Project. “The Biden administration is off to a good start with setting its goals to help us emerge from the climate crisis, and the new goal should be to stop supplying the nation’s dependence on fossil fuels from our federal lands.” and our minerals, and end the biodiversity crisis by prioritizing public lands for habitat protection.

Background: Production of fossil fuels on public lands cause about a quarter of the United States’ greenhouse gas pollution. Peer-reviewed science estimates that a federal nationwide fossil fuel rental ban would cut carbon emissions by 280 million tonnes per year, ranking it among the most ambitious federal climate policy proposals in recent years.

Oil, gas and coal extraction uses mines, well platforms, gas pipes, roads and other infrastructure that destroy the habitat of wildlife, including endangered and endangered species. disappearance. Oil spills and other damage from offshore drilling have caused immense damage to ocean wildlife and coastal communities. Hydraulic fracturing and mining also pollute the watersheds and rivers that provide drinking water to millions of people.

Federal fossil fuels that have not been leased to industry contain up to 450 billion tonnes of potential climate pollution; those already leased to industry contain up to 43 billion tonnes. Pollution from the world’s already producing oil and gas fields, if fully developed, would push global warming well beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius.

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