In response to the Department of the Interior’s (DOI) Friday statement that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will issue final environmental assessments and sale notices for upcoming oil and gas lease sales on Monday, April 18, Earthjustice president Abigail Dillen issued the following statement:
“While DOI’s announcement moves us in the right direction to reform the obsolete federal fossil fuel leasing program, opening up new lands to further drilling is still incompatible with meeting our climate obligations. We are encouraged by a significant reduction in lease sale acreage, implementation of science-based analysis of greenhouse gas emissions, and an increase in the royalty rate for new competitive leases to 18.75%, but proceeding with proposed lease sales puts any hope of slashing pollution by 50–52% below 2005 levels by 2030 further out of reach.
“Any new leasing must meaningfully incorporate environmental justice and climate impacts. DOI must ensure our public lands are a key part of the climate solution, rather than continuing to directly contribute to emissions. The best available science already shows that we cannot continue leasing on our public lands and meet President Biden’s stated climate goals. If the Biden administration is serious about addressing climate change, its actions need to start matching its words.”