Friends of the Earth calls new federal lands and waters moratorium ‘a critical first step’

WASHINGTON- President Biden issued broad Executive Orders to tackle the climate crisis and environmental injustice today.

Among the important issues being addressed by President Biden’s Executive Orders are a moratorium on all new oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters, as well as a goal to preserve 30% of federal lands and waters by 2030 (also known as “30-by-30”).  The move is one step toward making good on his campaign promise to reduce climate emissions. Nearly a quarter of U.S. climate emissions come from the extraction and burning of fossil fuels on public lands and waters.

In response to the President centering environmental justice in his climate policy, Friends of the Earth President Erich Pica issued the following statement:

The Executive Orders issued today create a precedent setting opportunity to reset the United States’ efforts to address climate change. By putting environmental justice at the center of our climate and energy strategy, we begin the process of deeply addressing the inequities in our responses to the climate and greater environmental crisis.

In response to the moratorium on all new oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters, Friends of the Earth Senior Fossil Fuels Program Manager Nicole Ghio issued the following statement:

Today’s moratorium is a critical first step that finally puts the safety and health of our wild places, local communities, and our climate ahead of Big Oil profits. We look forward to working with the Biden Administration during the moratorium to plan a just transition that ends our dependence on oil and gas. 

In response to the 30-by-30 initiative, Friends of the Earth Senior Oceans Campaigner Hallie Templeton issued the following statement:

We are pleased to see President Biden taking swift and meaningful action to combat climate change, both on land and at sea. We remain concerned that some 30-by-30 frameworks have imposed top-down measures that could devastate  our remaining small-scale, low-impact commercial fishing families. We applaud President Biden for bringing these important stakeholders to the table to help craft equitable climate solutions in the ocean. 

Communications contact: Erin Jensen, [email protected]
Expert contact: Nicole Ghio, [email protected].org

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