Evergreen: After 5th Circuit Ruling, DOI Must Overhaul Federal Leasing Program

In response to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that overturned a lower court’s decision to block President Biden’s executive order pausing new oil and gas leasing on America’s public lands, Evergreen Action Chief of Staff Lena Moffitt released the following statement:

“President Biden made a promise to end new oil and gas extraction on America’s public lands and waters, and we expect him to do everything in his power to keep it. With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, the President is on a roll with climate action; and he must capitalize on that momentum. Now, with the injunction vacated, President Biden must use this opportunity to drastically overhaul the federal fossil fuel program and take America one step closer to fully meeting our climate and environmental justice goals. 

“The federal leasing program in its current form has inflicted profound harm on the communities that live near fossil fuel extraction, transport, and processing sites. Due to decades of systemic environmental racism, these impacts are disproportionately borne by Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities. In addition to doing everything in its power to halt new leasing, DOI should exercise its authority to scale back fossil fuel production on existing leases and deploy resources to drive a just transition away from a fossil fueled economy for the communities that have been most impacted by this deadly industry.” 

In June, Evergreen partnered with EarthJustice to release a new report laying out the policy roadmap for the Biden administration to align the federal fossil leasing program with the president’s commitments on climate and environmental justice. The paper called on the administration to: 

  • Swiftly and legally phase out new federal fossil fuel leasing on public lands and waters, including oil, gas, and coal.

  • Limit federal fossil fuel production from existing leases to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement and President Biden’s climate and environmental justice commitments.

  • Lead a just transition away from a fossil-fueled economy for communities historically and currently impacted by federal fossil fuel leasing, while investing in a just and inclusive clean energy future. 

Access the full report here.