Public Lands & Waters Defense

Friends of the Earth’s Public Lands and Waters Defense campaign seeks to expose and rout out corruption and conflicts of interest at the Trump administration’s Department of the Interior (DOI). In doing so, we will prevent agency leadership from carrying out rollbacks and land and ocean giveaways that benefit their friends in the fossil fuel industry.

House Democrats must hold administration officials accountable for their unethical and illegal actions. From gutting the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments at the behest of the fossil fuel industry, to rolling back safety standards put in place after the BP spill, to pushing to open over 90% of our coasts to offshore drilling, DOI is racing to turn our public lands and waters over to their friends in the oil and coal industries. The House Natural Resources Committee should convene hearings to investigate the actions of Secretary Bernhardt and other top officials at DOI who have deep ties to these industries.

Through opposition research, media work, and advocacy, we are calling for Congress and the Inspector General's office to engage in oversight and hold DOI accountable — and this grassroots pressure is already yielding results, as you can learn below.

This administration wants to sell off our lands and waters to Big Oil. We need your help to fight for our health and environment at every step.

  • Stop the Interior Dept from destroying our wild places
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  • Green New Deal Tell Congress to support a Green New Deal
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  • Climate & Energy Tell Trump’s administration to stop handing over our public lands & parks to corporations
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Latest News See All
Friends of the Earth calls new federal lands and waters moratorium ‘a critical first step’

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. 

As Biden Prepares to Issue New Rules for Oil & Gas Drilling on Public Lands, Millions of Americans, Hundreds of Groups Call for Permanent Ban on Fracking

Environmental, Indigenous, climate and conservation groups from across the country announced today that they have delivered more than two million petitions and public comments to recent administrations calling for a permanent ban on all drilling and fracking on federal lands.

FOE Statement on the appointment of Deb Haaland as U.S. Secretary of the Interior

Haaland will be a champion of our public lands and waters, and the communities that rely on them.

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
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
  • Department of Interior FOIA (August 16, 2018)
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  • Department of Interior FOIA (June 26, 2018)
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  • Department of Interior FOIA (November 20, 2017)
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