Public Lands & Waters Defense

Friends of the Earth’s Public Lands campaign seeks to halt oil and gas exploitation of our public lands and put the U.S. on the path towards a just transition that protects workers and communities and ends our dependence on fossil fuels.

The extraction and burning of fossil fuels from public lands and waters account for nearly a quarter of U.S. climate emissions. At the very moment when we needed decisive action to protect our wild places and climate for future generations, the Trump Administration held a four year fire sale to turn as much of our public lands over to the oil and gas industry as possible.

But there is hope. President Joe Biden made bold campaign promises to halt new fossil fuel leasing on federal lands and waters, and to enact a suite of executive actions through the Department of Interior that would protect communities and the environment. Seven days into his term, Biden took an important first step by issuing a new Executive Order to pause oil and gas leasing and review the entire leasing program.

The pushback from Big Oil and oily members of Congress was swift and riddled with lies. We need your help to show there is strong support to stop the fossil fuel industry from pillaging our public lands and ensure President Biden makes good on his promise to prioritize people over corporate interests.

  • Green New Deal Archives Tell Congress to stop shelling out billions to Big Oil
    TAKE ACTION
  • Climate & Energy Justice Stop the Line 3 Pipeline
    TAKE ACTION
Latest News See All
Biden Restores and Expands Protections to Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monuments

Restoring these national monuments is President Biden’s clearest signal yet that he will protect our public lands and waters for future generations. 

Lawsuit Filed After Biden Opens 79 Million Acres of Gulf of Mexico for Oil Leasing

The Biden administration has folded to the oil industry based on its campaign of disinformation and political pressure, ignoring the worsening climate emergency we face.

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

The Department of the Interior is starting the process for oil & gas lease sales on public lands despite Biden's promise to ban new leasing.

Latest Blog Posts See All
Undoing the damage Pruitt and Zinke did to our environment
Undoing the damage Pruitt and Zinke did to our environment

Scott Pruitt and Ryan Zinke seemingly handed the EPA and DOI over to corporate polluters. They debased these agencies and endangered public health. Americans are relying on the Democrats to stand up, stop these destructive actions and protect people and the planet.

Four ways for Democrats to root out Republican corruption
Four ways for Democrats to root out Republican corruption

Democrats in the House must hold administration officials accountable for their unethical and illegal actions. They should start with the Department of Interior and its Secretary Ryan Zinke, who is facing no less than 17 federal investigations.

Karen Budd-Falen is the wrong choice to oversee our public lands
Karen Budd-Falen is the wrong choice to oversee our public lands

As the director of BLM she could have the power to sell off our public lands to fossil fuel interests, embolden militant ranchers, gut critical environmental safeguards, pollute our vulnerable waterways, and leave an irreversible scar on our wild places.

Impact Stories See All
Stopping Fossil Fuel Drilling of Public Lands and Waters
Stopping Fossil Fuel Drilling of Public Lands and Waters

Along with nearly 600 other groups, we urged Biden to make good on his campaign promise and issue an executive order to halt new fossil fuel leasing as part of his climate agenda.

Together We Stopped Ryan Zinke
Together We Stopped Ryan Zinke

Ryan Zinke has now followed in the footsteps of former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt: leaving under the weight of his accumulating misdeeds.

Backing Interior Away from Steep National Park Fee Hike
Backing Interior Away from Steep National Park Fee Hike

The idea of pricing millions of Americans out of visiting our beloved spaces is wholly un-American. Zinke’s decision prioritizes the elite over the general public, and further undermines the challenges facing low-income families and individuals.

Keeping Our Lands Public
Keeping Our Lands Public

Thanks to Friends of the Earth members voicing their opinions, three national monuments have been taken off the chopping block.

Resources See All
  • Closing the Dirty Energy Gap
    Download
  • Department of Interior FOIA (August 16, 2018)
    Download
  • Department of Interior FOIA (June 26, 2018)
    Download