Environmental activists on Tuesday protested the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) auctions of fossil fuel leases in Nevada, which the activists say will contribute to carbon pollution and devastate habitats of imperiled species.
The auction at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino reportedly ended without any bids for more than 50,000 acres of publicly owned oil and gas leases in Elko and Eureka counties.
Protesters marched from the landmark Reno arch to the casino, holding banners and signs that read "Stand up to big oil" and "Keep it in the ground."
— Amanda *$ (@Starbuck) March 8, 2016
— Monique N (@moniqueNev5) March 8, 2016
— Tom Brown (@TomBrown_CBD) March 8, 2016
The action is part of the growing climate movement calling on President Barack Obama to halt new federal fossil fuel leases on public lands and oceans, which altogether hold about 450 billion tons of carbon emissions, according to the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), an environmental nonprofit which helped organize the action. Similar protests have taken place across the country and seem to gaining steam.
Demonstrations are also planned for upcoming auctions in Milwaukee, New Orleans, and Cheyenne, Wyoming. CBD also filed two formal administrative protests against the BLM plan to auction more than 28,000 acres of publicly owned oil and gas leases in Wyoming, Montana, and the Dakotas in May.
"Each new federal fossil fuel lease takes us closer to climate disaster," said CBD public lands campaigner Taylor McKinnon. "Leaving a livable climate for future generations requires keeping fossil fuels in the ground now, and we should start with the public lands that President Obama controls."