For Immediate Release, April 4, 2023
Paulo Lopes, (202) 849-8398, firstname.lastname@example.org
Congress Urged to Zero Out Funding for Federal Oil, Gas Programs
WASHINGTON— A coalition of 215 groups today urged House and Senate leaders to end funding for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s fossil fuel extraction programs on public lands and waters.
The groups’ letter aligns with U.N. Secretary General António Guterres’ request last month for governments to immediately address the climate crisis by ceasing new oil and gas extraction, and not expanding oil and gas reserves.
“It’s shameful that year after year Congress continues funding more fossil fuel extraction on our public lands and oceans despite how dire the climate emergency has become,” said Paulo Lopes, a senior policy specialist at the Center for Biological Diversity. “Regardless of the political party that’s in control of Congress, this thoughtless facilitation of filthy fracking and drilling continues like clockwork, wreaking havoc on our planet.”
In the United States, the burning of fossil fuels accounts for more than 80% of greenhouse gas emissions. One quarter of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions comes from the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels produced on public lands and offshore waters.
Since fiscal year 2016 funding for the BLM’s oil and gas management has increased nearly 90%, to $113 million this year. This funding has resulted in the Biden administration approving 6,430 permits for oil and gas drilling on public lands in its first two years. Likewise, Congress continues to increase funding for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s offshore oil and gas leasing program.
The letter asks Congress to stop funding the portion of the Inflation Reduction Act that requires the Interior Department to offer at least 2 million acres of public lands and 60 million acres of offshore waters for oil and gas leasing each year as a prerequisite to installing any new solar or wind energy.
“The leasing mandates in the Inflation Reduction Act only ensure more destruction of our public lands and waters as they fuel the climate crisis,” said Lopes. “Congress should be using its power to ramp up funding for renewable energy rather than propping up the fossil fuel industry.”
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.