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
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  • Climate & Energy Justice Save our public lands from oil and gas drilling!
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Latest News See All
Biden Administration Holds First Public Lands Lease Sales

This action is in direct contradiction to Biden’s campaign promise to stop new oil and gas leasing on public lands.

Groups sue Biden administration over Wyoming oil and gas lease sale

The Wilderness Society and FOE filed a suit over the Biden administration’s decision to offer 123 parcels of federal land for drilling.

Report: Big Oil Makes Billions While Society Shoulders Staggering Costs of Public Lands and Waters Drilling

Friends of the Earth released an analysis on the true social cost of carbon if the Biden administration continues allowing Big Oil to drill.

Latest Blog Posts See All
Big Oil and Gas’s Cheap Public Lands and Water Leases Shell Game
Big Oil and Gas’s Cheap Public Lands and Water Leases Shell Game

President Biden is about to break his promise to end new lease sales in a big way, opening 80 million acres of the Gulf of Mexico to drilling

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.

Impact Stories See All
Protecting our Public Lands
Protecting our Public Lands

As we continue our fight in preventing oil & gas exploitation of our public lands, we thank our members for helping us right this wrong!

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
  • Social Cost of Carbon From Federal Oil and Gas Development
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  • Big Oil’s Shell Game: A Highly Subsidized House of Cards
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  • Letter to EXIM on Malaysia petrochemical project
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