Long-awaited public lands “climate” report violates presidential order and ignores the climate crisis

You’d think the oil and gas industry was still running the U.S. Department of the Interior, given one of the agency’s most recent actions.

That’s because on “Black Friday”—in the clutter of the holiday rush—the agency buried a report that was supposed to call for bold action to fulfill President Joe Biden’s promise to confront the climate crisis and address climate justice in the United States.

The Black Friday report means more climate delay instead of bold climate action. It’s another black eye for the Interior Department, confirming the agency has no intent of real climate leadership to rein in fossil fuel extraction.

That’s why I’m asking you to help WildEarth Guardians’ audacious and necessary Keep It in the Ground campaign to end fossil fuel extraction from public lands. We’ve fought climate denial and climate delay—whether from Trump or Biden. Please help us keep up the fight by supporting this work with a donation of $50, $100, $250, $500, or more today.

On Friday, November 26—the day after Thanksgiving—the Interior Department released a report claiming to respond to President Biden’s order directing the agency to prepare a comprehensive review and reconsideration of the federal oil and gas leasing and permitting program, taking into account the impacts of climate change and corresponding climate costs.

The report, however, presented no assessment of the climate impacts and made no recommendations for addressing the climate costs of the federal oil and gas leasing program. Incredibly, the word “climate” is mentioned only twice in the entire 14-page report!

Instead, the report papered-over climate concerns, and offered recommendations that promote more oil and gas leasing and extraction and generate more revenue for the oil and gas industry.

Make no mistake: not only would following the recommendations in the report undermine desperately needed climate action, but it would seal the fate of climate-imperiled species like the Joshua tree, wolverine, and Sonoran desert tortoise.

At best, Interior’s Black Friday news dump is outright climate denial. At worst, it’s deliberately deceptive and nothing more than a shill for the fossil fuel industry’s bottom line. Either way, the Interior Department is failing the climate.

We won’t stand for it, and neither should you. Your generous support has been a critical ingredient in our successful climate defense work over the past decade, and your continued support will propel us forward in the new year.

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About the Author

John Horning | Executive Director, WildEarth Guardians

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