The world is facing a set of intersecting crises, from Putin’s war of aggression in Ukraine, to consumer hardship at the gas pump caused by dependency on fossil fuels, to ever-intensifying climate impacts. To address these crises, the Western Environmental Law Center sent a letter on behalf of 88 diverse organizations to President Biden recommending a pragmatic, action-oriented roadmap highlighting the critical role that public lands and resources must play as part of an ambitious, solutions-oriented climate approach.
The roadmap urges President Biden’s administration to take four actions:
- Develop a comprehensive, public lands-wide climate action framework that winds down oil and gas production from public lands and minerals.
- Promulgate rules to provide assurances to the public that climate action is and will be taken and that the federal government will follow through on its promises.
- Impose interim climate and conservation guardrails and any and all oil and gas related decisions or, in the absence of those guardrails, defer any new leasing or oil and gas permitting.
- Develop a Just Transition plan to support state and community efforts to stabilize and diversify revenue streams and economic opportunity away from their current dependency on federal oil and gas leasing and production.
“President Biden faces an incredible opportunity to position the U.S. as the global leader in the necessary and unavoidable shift from the fossil fuels of the past to the renewable energy of the future,” said Erik Schlenker-Goodrich. “The more quickly we embrace a just transition, the greater the multipliers will be for our economy, public health, climate, and environmental justice. The U.S. is well positioned to show the world how visionary climate leadership benefits geopolitical and climate security, our economy, and the freedom of communities to benefit from a just energy transition. We want to work with President Biden to seize that immense opportunity.”