Tell President Obama:
Fossil fuel production on public lands is incompatible with stopping runaway climate change. I urge you to issue an executive order that instructs federal agencies to stop granting new and expanded leases to extract coal, oil and gas from public lands and coastal waters.
The U.S. government is selling off our publicly owned lands and offshore waters at bargain prices for private fossil fuel extraction, driving the world’s climate deeper into crisis.
Who’s buying? The world’s wealthiest companies — and they’re getting even richer. Just 15 of the world’s biggest dirty energy corporations control 36% of leased federal land. That includes supermajors like Chevron, Shell and BP. It includes less well-known companies like Anadarko, which was ordered to pay the second-biggest environmental fine in history, $5.15 billion.
This corporate giveaway is happening week after week on a vast scale. President Obama could end this broken system with a stroke of his pen.
Approximately 25 percent of U.S. fossil fuel production occurs on federally-managed public lands and waters — places that belong to all of us, and that are under the direct control of the president. The Obama Administration is responsible for leasing public fossil fuels located on more than 2.6 billion acres of federal lands and waters. That’s a vast expanse, roughly equivalent to the land area of the entire United States. From the Gulf Coast to Alaska, our public lands and coastal waters are being systematically exploited by big corporations extracting fossil fuels for private profit, at enormous cost to local communities.
This status quo is killing the climate. Emissions from federally managed lands and waters are responsible for approximately 24 percent of U.S. energy-related greenhouse gas emissions annually — principally from coal, oil and gas.
It’s also a huge opportunity. To avoid catastrophic climate change, scientists say we must keep the vast majority of the world’s remaining fossil fuels in the ground.
As the leader of the world’s biggest carbon polluter, and richest country, President Obama should issue an executive order instructing federal agencies to stop granting new and expanded leases to extract fossil fuels from public lands.