On September 15, 2015, Indigenous and frontline leaders were joined by national environmentalists in Washington, D.C. to deliver a letter from more than 400 organizations and leaders demanding that President Obama use his authority to end the leasing of fossil fuel extraction on public lands and waters. One year later, and the movement to “Keep It in the Ground” on public lands and waters has grown as a force in the fight to stop our climate crisis. We have organized protests at nearly every auction for public lands during that time.
Today, on September 15, 2016, we returned to Washington D.C. to present a One Million Strong petition to the president and urge him to #KeepItInTheGround. If the president is serious about his climate legacy, he needs to take bold action — today. He can keep nearly half of potential climate emissions from U.S. fossil fuels locked in the ground if he ends this disastrous practice of leasing public lands and waters.
Over the past year, this movement has held protests and actions at nearly every auction of public lands and waters. Communities directly affected by spills, leaks and explosions, living next to and in the shadow of coal mines, fracking rigs, and drilling platforms have organized protests at federal fossil fuel auctions in Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Comments have flooded into the Department of the Interior. And today, more than a million signatures have been submitted to the president demanding that he end leasing on public lands and waters. The media, the fossil fuel industry and their friends in Congress have taken notice.
Below are just a few images of the urgency and commitment we have seen across the country. And we won’t stop until the job is done.