Biden Breaks Climate Promise As Extreme Weather, Drought, Fires, and Flooding Ravage Nation

Interior Department Moves Forward With Public Lands and Waters Oil and Gas Lease Sales

WASHINGTON – Today, the Biden Administration’s Department of the Interior initiated the process to begin conducting public lands and waters oil and gas lease sales. This comes despite the Biden Administration’s recent appeal of a federal judge’s ruling on new leasing, his campaign promise to ban ‘new oil and gas leasing on public lands and waters,’ and multiple ongoing climate change-induced disasters that continue to cost lives and billions of U.S. dollars annually.

“Considering the climate is heading down a catastrophic, unsustainable path, stopping new oil and gas leasing that would lock in decades of fossil fuel extraction is the least Biden could do,” said Nicole Ghio, Senior Fossil Fuels Program Manager for Friends of the Earth. “Instead, Biden is restarting a broken leasing system that is ripping off taxpayers, polluting our air, lands, and waters, and killing us. Big Oil’s profits shouldn’t be prioritized over the livability of our planet.”

Also this week, the Interior Department’s Bureau of Land Management initiated the scoping process for public lands lease sales, and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management issued preliminary plans to conduct an offshore lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico. The Biden Administration did appeal the preliminary injunction ruling on the leasing pause in order to address climate change, but is choosing to resume the broken program despite having no legal obligation to turn over our public lands and waters to the oil and gas industry.

The Biden Administration’s decision to resume oil and gas lease sales comes on the heels of oil and gas corporations stockpiling a historic number of applications to drill, while an analysis found that the sector was already sitting on millions of acres of idle leases across the West. A recent study by the Conservation Economics Institute found that Big Oil corporations have nearly 20 years of drilling permits in New Mexico alone.

Communications contact: Brittany Miller, (202) 222-0746, [email protected]

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