Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Historic Petition Calls on Obama Admin to Halt All New Fossil Fuel Leases on Federal Land

More than 250 climate, community and tribal organizations filed a landmark legal petition today (see PDF) calling on the Obama administration to halt all new fossil fuel leasing on federal lands — a step that would align U.S. energy policies with its climate goals and keep up to 450 billion tons of greenhouse gas pollution from entering the atmosphere. The petition, filed under the federal Administrative Procedures Act, calls on Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to place an immediate moratorium on new leases for federally managed, publicly owned oil, gas, tar sands and oil shale. The moratorium would remain until and unless it can be demonstrated that resumption of fossil fuel mining on public lands is consistent with meeting the U.S. goal of holding global warming “well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels” and pursuing efforts to “limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels,” as agreed to by the United States and 194 other countries in the 2015 Paris Agreement. “The clock is ticking on the climate crisis, and one of the most powerful steps the Obama administration can take right now is turn off the carbon pollution spigot on America’s public lands,” said Michael Saul, a Center for Biological Diversity attorney and primary author of the petition. “A moratorium on federal leasing is critical to ensure the United States does its part to meet the global climate commitments we made last year in Paris.”...more

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