Protect our public lands and waters from fossil fuels

What's At Stake

In permitting the Willow Project, the Biden administration greenlit 30 years of fossil fuel extraction on public lands. Earthjustice will continue to fight the Willow Project in court, but ultimately this project approval is emblematic of a much bigger problem — the federal government’s entire approach to leasing public lands to the oil and gas industry. No matter who has been in the White House in recent decades, decisions have always been made to auction off our public lands to the oil and gas industry. The federal oil and gas program favors fossil fuel companies who want to drill on public lands, while ignoring concerns about climate change. 

We can stop future projects like Willow, but we have to start at the source — the government’s program for leasing and permitting fossil fuel development on public lands. Tell the Biden administration to change this system by adopting rules to align its choices with federal climate commitments. 

The United States ranks as the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions on the planet, and the equivalent of nearly a quarter of its greenhouse gas emissions stem from fossil fuel development on public lands and waters. As things stand, a full 90 percent of lands under control of the Bureau of Land Management are open to oil and gas leasing and drilling. The Department of the Interior must revisit the way it handles leasing and permitting for companies that wish to drill for oil and gas on public lands.  

Our public lands are special and unique places that provide critical wildlife habitat, essential grounds for Indigenous hunting and fishing, refuges for people who love the outdoors, and sources of clean, fresh drinking water. Instead of sacrificing them to boost oil companies’ profits, these remarkable places can and should be part of the climate solution.  

Tell the Biden administration it must take immediate action to fix the federal oil and gas program, prioritize reducing emissions, and take a significant bite out of global climate pollution by adopting rules to require that fossil fuel development on our shared public lands aligns with our national climate commitments. 

Oil drilling operations in Kern County, Calif.
Oil drilling operations in Kern County, Calif. (Chris Jordan-Bloch / Earthjustice)

Delivery to President Biden

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Your Actions Matter

Your messages make a difference, even if we have leaders who don't want to listen. Here's why.

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We need you to join us — your specific experiences, knowledge, and voice are crucial to add to the Administrative Record through the comment periods.

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Public comments are collected at various points throughout the federal government’s rulemaking process, including when a regulation is proposed and finalized. (Learn about the rulemaking process.) These comments become part of the official, legal public record — the “Administrative Record.”

When the public responds with a huge outpouring of support for environmental protections, these individual messages collectively undercut politicians' attempts to claim otherwise.

What this means is each of us can take a role in shaping the rules our government creates — and ensuring those rules are fair and effective.