For release, October 13, 2016
Contact: Virali Modi-Parekh, Rainforest Action Network, (510) 747-8476, firstname.lastname@example.org
New Report Blasts President Obama’s Record on Climate Change
Reveals the Administration has continued business as usual
despite climate commitments
To download the full report, please visit: http://www.ran.org/tipping_the_scales_report
SAN FRANCISCO – Marking President Obama’s last 100 days in office, Rainforest Action Network (RAN) released a report today showing that while President Obama has taken some significant steps to combat climate change, they’ve been negated by continued oil and gas production from public lands and oceans. Over the last seven years, the Obama Administration offered hundreds of millions of publicly held acres to corporations for oil, gas, and coal extraction, resulting in ten million acres onshore and fifteen million acres offshore leased out to fossil fuel companies.
The report reveals a damning portrait of Obama’s climate record where the Administration has contracted with bankrupt coal companies, fostered a fracking boom, and issued offshore leases solely in the Gulf of Mexico—one of the most vulnerable regions in the country that has already dealt with historic oil spills and catastrophic flooding connected to climate change. It also shows that President Obama’s Administration offered a similar amount of offshore acres to the oil and gas industry as Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
“By signing the Paris Climate Agreement, President Obama agreed to protect future generations from climate chaos. Instead, he has continued to auction off hundreds of millions of acres to drill, frack, and mine in our oceans and public lands—devastating communities and jeopardizing our chances at climate stability. It’s now time to truly follow through on this commitment by ending these lease sales, and tip the scales in favor of the planet and the people impacted by these dirty fuels,” said Ruth Breech, Senior Campaigner for Rainforest Action Network
Ending new fossil fuel leasing on public land and oceans would keep up to 450 billion tons of potential greenhouse gas pollution in the ground—half of the potential pollution from all remaining fossil fuels in the United States. Federal fossil fuels already leased to industry are capable of producing decades beyond the point by which the planet must transition to clean energy to avoid devastating global warming.
Last year, Rainforest Action Network released a report on federal fossil fuel leasing, Public Lands, Private Profits, showing that America’s public lands and waters were being given away to some of the wealthiest energy companies in the world for as low as $2 an acre. Since then, thousands of people across the country have protested every fossil fuel auction, over 20 in total, underscoring the controversial nature of these programs. Just last month, frontline and climate leaders took their demands directly to President Obama’s agencies in the Department of Interior, where thirteen were arrested after refusing to leave.
Rainforest Action Network runs hard-hitting campaigns to break North America’s fossil fuels addiction, protect endangered forests and Indigenous rights, and stop destructive investments around the world through education, grassroots organizing, and non-violent direct action. For more information, please visit:www.ran.org