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Earthjustice is a nonprofit in the business of building a better future. We’re here because the earth needs a good lawyer.

Biden Enables More Drilling, Just Days after Climate-Fueled Hurricane

Two days after Hurricane Ida wreaked havoc on the Gulf Coast, the Biden administration bowed to industry pressure by offering to lease over 80 million acres of the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas drilling. Earthjustice, representing Healthy Gulf, Sierra Club, Friends of the Earth, and Center for Biological Diversity, immediately filed a challenge to the lease sale in federal court.

President Biden ran on a platform of climate action. He’s running from that commitment with this expansion of fossil fuels.

Allowing more oil and gas drilling in the Gulf of Mexico is bad for the climate, wildlife, and communities.

  • The oil industry, with the federal government’s greenlight, has for too long treated the Gulf of Mexico as a sacrifice zone. This decision invites more destruction and disasters for Gulf Coast communities already suffering from rising temperatures, flooding, and pollution.
  • Underregulated oil and gas development puts Gulf Coast communities, coastal economies, and marine life at risk. Impacted species include sea turtles, dolphins, oysters, and whales — including the Rice’s whale, which is only found in the Gulf of Mexico and is one of the most endangered whales on the planet.
  • President Biden has acknowledged that we are facing a “profound climate crisis” and have little time left to pursue bold actions to avoid the most catastrophic impacts. Yet his administration determined that a United Nations report that warned climate change was becoming a cataclysmic problem "does not present sufficient cause" to revise an existing environmental analysis of this lease sale.

Earthjustice has filed a federal lawsuit to hold the government accountable to the science and its lawful duty to people and the planet.

  • Officials violated federal law by relying on a flawed and out-of-date environmental analysis from 2017. Since then, significant information has emerged about the severity of the climate crisis. The administration is legally obligated to evaluate this information before taking any action.
  • The Biden administration used the same flawed analysis weeks earlier in a case involving a massive oil and gas project in the Western Arctic. But Earthjustice held strong and shut them down in court.
  • On August 31, we filed a lawsuit against Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management following the notice of lease sale 257. We will continue to use every tool at our disposal to stop this lease sale. It is Earthjustice’s goal to put an end to the extraction and burning of fossil fuels.

Tell the administration that we need to end new lease sales on public lands and waters.

Offshore drilling platform

A new offshore lease sale would add more fossil fuel infrastructure in the Gulf of Mexico and worsen the climate crisis.

Brad Zweerink / Earthjustice