For Immediate Release, March 9, 2022

Contact:

Jean Su, (415) 770-3187, jsu@biologicaldiversity.org

Biden Urged to Invoke Defense Protection Act, Resist Shortsighted Domestic Fossil Fuel Policies

Push for Renewable Energy Deployment in Wake of Russian Oil Import Ban

WASHINGTON— Following President Biden’s announcement Tuesday that the United States will ban all Russian oil imports, more than 200 climate, Indigenous, social justice, religious, and progressive groups sent a letter to the White House today urging the president to invoke the Defense Production Act in order to ramp up the deployment of renewable energy to transition the world off the fossil fuels that are leading to global instability.

“The president just took a crucial and historic step to stop funding Putin’s bloody assault on Ukraine,” said Jean Su, energy justice program director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Now President Biden should use his executive powers to speed the transition to a safe, renewable-energy future for all. Using the Defense Production Act, Biden can make the United States a renewable-energy manufacturing powerhouse, create good union jobs, and help advance energy and climate security around the world. This is the moment for Biden to end the fossil fuel era and petrochemical tyranny.”

The groups, standing in solidarity with the people of Ukraine, applauded the administration’s decision to halt oil imports from Russia and implored Biden to continue to resist shortsighted policies such as scaling up domestic fossil fuel production or expanding oil and gas infrastructure and financing, which would only deepen our dependence on fuels that lead to global instability and drive devastating climate impacts.

The letter points to the power the oil and gas industry has provided to Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Putin’s ability to wreak such destruction on Ukraine is predicated on global dependence on fossil fuels,” the groups write. “Oil and gas constitute forty percent of Russia’s national revenue, meaning Russian exports of oil and gas are literally funding this invasion.”

Biden can deploy his executive powers to weaken the geopolitical power of fossil fuels, address the climate emergency, and prevent further mass suffering by invoking the Defense Production Act to produce alternatives to fossil fuels, fight the climate emergency, combat Putin’s stranglehold on the world’s energy economy, and support the transition to a renewable and just economy.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.