I was ecstatic when President Joe Biden, in late January, took executive action halting new oil and gas leasing on America’s public lands and offshore waters. It was an accomplishment that required millions of people to speak out because we know that addressing the climate crisis requires bold action.
But I was also realistic, fully aware that the fossil fuel barons—and the politicians they fund—would immediately fight to overturn President Biden’s order. At WildEarth Guardians, we knew we still had plenty of work to ensure just and equitable action for the climate, frontline communities, and our future.
In June, Republican-led states beholden to the oil and gas industry got a federal judge to order the Biden administration to restart the sale of oil and gas leases on public lands. On August 31, the administration announced its intention to auction off more than 740,000 acres in states including Montana, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Mississippi, and Alabama.
As our relentless Climate and Energy Program Director, Jeremy Nichols, told the national media, “These new plans to sell public lands for fracking are nothing but a shattered promise from the Biden administration to put climate, justice, and health first. Rest assured, we will be doing everything within our power to block these plans.”
More than a decade ago, Guardians set forth on an audacious campaign to defend the climate and end the sale of dirty fossil fuels from public lands. You have been with us every step of the way. We are not about to give up now, and neither should you.
We simply can’t frack our way to a safe climate and can’t afford to keep selling public lands to the oil and gas industry. Join me in telling President Biden to keep his climate promises. Speak up and demand action today.