President Obama’s last eight years have been marked by significant steps on environmental policy, outweighed by unregulated, unprecedented growth in domestic oil and gas production, including on public lands and waters. Here is a tale of two presidencies — one in which President Obama has made key decisions to stem climate change; the other where the president has leased out tens of millions of federally managed lands to the fossil fuel industry. To truly tip the scales and make a landmark impact on America’s relationship to fossil fuels, the President must end federal fossil fuel leasing.
Marking President Obama’s last 100 days in office, Rainforest Action Network’s new report shows 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. 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 millions of acres leased out to fossil fuel companies.
To make truly lasting change and tip the scales toward climate stability, the American people deserve bold and direct leadership that will provide more than rhetoric for a just transition away from fossil fuels.
President Obama has authority under current law to keep fossil fuels in the ground and to jump start the transition to a clean energy economy. By ending fossil fuel lease sales, he could cut half of the future carbon pollution of the U.S., send a powerful signal to corporate polluters and nations around the world and create a real climate legacy.