More dirty fuels stay in the ground as BLM postpones yet another oil and gas auction
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday afternoon, the Bureau of Land Management announced the postponement of yet another oil and gas lease sale, this time in Lakewood, Colorado, slated for February 11. The BLM postponed the sale indefinitely, citing the need for further consultation to address local tribal concerns.
This is the second auction to be postponed just this week, part of a growing pattern of postponements and cancellations in recent months. The BLM has faced mounting pressure from local citizens and activists, who have protested these auctions in communities across the country as part of the “Keep It in the Ground” movement calling on President Obama to define his climate legacy by stopping new fossil fuel leases on public lands and oceans. Today’s cancelation is a reminder that, in addition to being critical to the president’s legacy on climate, stopping these leases is also critical to his administration’s commitment to protecting cultural heritage and indigenous communities.
Since November, in direct response to these protests, the BLM has canceled oil and gas leasing auctions in Utah, Montana, and Washington, DC, and another protest is planned to take place on February 16 in Utah.
“Keeping fossil fuels in the ground is critical for the protection of our climate, our public lands legacy and indigenous communities,” said Marissa Knodel, Climate Campaigner at Friends of the Earth. “The growing number of postponed oil and gas lease sales is a positive step in the right direction, but the Obama administration must go even further and cancel all future lease sales on our public lands, which are hypocritical to his pledge to leave a safe and healthy environment for present and future generations.”
“Expanding drilling on our public lands disrupts communities, just to give oil and gas companies more fossil fuels we can’t afford to burn,” said Greenpeace Senior Climate and Energy Campaigner Diana Best. “The Obama administration can’t postpone the inevitable. It’s time to keep fossil fuels in the ground for good.”
“This is another positive step forward for the American West, its indigenous peoples, and for our climate,” said Jeremy Nichols, WildEarth Guardians’ Climate and Energy Program Director. “Now it’s time for the Obama Administration to go all the way and finally put a complete end to auctioning off our public lands for fracking.”
“Each new federal fossil fuel lease plunges us deeper into climate disaster,” said Taylor McKinnon with the Center for Biological Diversity. “If we want to avoid the worst climate impacts we must stop bringing new fossil fuels online. Stopping new leases for drilling, fracking and mining on our public lands is the natural place to start.”
“If it’s wrong to wreck the climate, it is wrong for our government to be in the business of selling coal, oil and gas to the fossil fuel industry. Keeping fossil fuels in the ground is emerging as a key litmus test for climate leadership, whether you’re running for president or shoring up your climate legacy,” said Jason Kowalski, Policy Director, 350.org.
Taylor McKinnon, (801) 300-2414, [email protected]
Diana Best, (303) 395-1325, [email protected]
Jeremy Nichols, (303) 437-7663, [email protected]
Marissa Knodel, (202) 222-0729, [email protected]
Jason Kowalski, (716) 984-4200, [email protected]