Earthjustice Statement: Fixing Oil & Gas Program Can Solve a Major Climate Conundrum
Drilling & mining America’s public lands generates 25% of nation’s climate-warming emissions
Today, the Biden administration’s Department of Interior announced it will begin its comprehensive review of the nation’s federal fossil fuel program, starting with a forum to be held on March 25.
The following is a statement from Drew Caputo, Earthjustice vice-president of litigation for Lands, Wildlife, and Oceans:
“The Biden-Harris administration committed to tackling the climate crisis and today is putting those words into action. The federal oil and gas leasing program needs serious reform if America is going to address climate change. Nearly 25% of this country’s climate-cooking emissions come from fossil fuels pumped or mined from lands and waters that belong to all Americans. This is unsustainable, particularly when climate change is contributing to major natural disasters such as the devastating freeze in Texas and the wildfires that choked the entire West Coast last year. Until now, the government has mostly had its head in the sand about the program’s impacts.
“This will be the first time the government has ever done a comprehensive review of the climate and other environmental impacts from oil, gas, and coal development on federal lands and waters. Doing so is essential to begin to reform the federal fossil fuel program. We need to turn America’s public lands system from being part of the climate problem into being part of the solution.”
Earthjustice has a robust body of litigation challenging federal fossil fuel development.
- upholding President Obama’s permanent protections for the Arctic and important parts of the Atlantic oceans,
- stopping additional offshore and onshore drilling projects in the Arctic,
- blocking leases in sacred Blackfeet land,
- stopping seismic blasting that endangers marine mammals in the Atlantic Ocean, and
- cancelling hundreds of illegal leases on thousands of acres in the West.
Active litigation includes:
- challenges to the Trump administration’s reversal of the coal leasing moratorium,
- the rollback of the Well Control and Blowout Preventer Rule, and
- an inadequate review of the ongoing impact of the Deepwater Horizon disaster on endangered species in the Gulf of Mexico,
- in addition to other cases.
Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people's health, to preserve magnificent places and wildlife, to advance clean energy, and to combat climate change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.