For Immediate Release
350.org Reacts to President Obama’s Latest Offshore Drilling Plan
WASHINGTON - Today the Obama Administration released the latest proposed offshore drilling plan, barring new drilling in Atlantic Ocean, but allowing continued drilling in the Arctic and Gulf. In response, 350.org Executive Director May Boeve issued the following statement:
“The President’s decisions on offshore drilling and fossil fuel development on public lands will define his climate legacy. Scientists are clear that in order to meet our climate targets we must keep fossil fuels in the ground. Protecting the Atlantic is a major win for people all along the coast who fought hard to protect their communities and the climate, but there’s much more work to be done. We won’t rest until we end new fossil fuel development in the Arctic, Gulf, and all across this country.”
Climate activists pledge to keep up pressure on the administration in hopes of eliminating offshore drilling entirely from the final plan, expected by the end of 2016.
“This fight will only intensify in the months ahead,” said Boeve. “Public pressure forced the administration to reverse course on Atlantic drilling, and it can push them back from the Arctic and Gulf. We will continue to make the case that any new drilling is a stain on the President’s climate legacy and incompatible with the goals he committed to at the climate talks in Paris. Real climate leaders keep fossil fuels in the ground and under the sea.”
This March 23rd, 350.org is supporting a broad coalition of groups who are organizing a protest at an oil and gas lease sale taking place at the Superdome in New Orleans, an icon of climate destruction.
“No community should have to live with the risk of a massive oil spill and constant pollution from fossil fuel development, especially low income and communities of color who are on the front lines of climate change,” said Boeve. “Communities like the Gulf got hit with Katrina, got hit with the BP Oil Spill, but they’re fighting to recover each and every day. Our government should be planning a just transition toward a 100% renewable energy economy, not doubling down on more drilling.”
Scientists and economists have concluded that the fossil fuel industry already has five times more carbon dioxide in their proven coal, oil and gas reserves then we can safely burn and keep global warming below 2°C, let alone the 1.5°C that many countries supported at the climate talks in Paris last December. The science is simple: in order to prevent catastrophe, we must keep fossil fuels in the ground.
Climate activists around the world are uniting under this “keep it in the ground” banner to take on major new fossil fuel projects. This May, the keep it in the ground movement is coming together until the “Break Free” platform, ten days of major fossil fuel protests across the planet, from coal mines in Germany to fracking wells in Colorado.
“Keeping fossil fuels in the ground is the new test of climate leadership,” said Boeve. “The Atlantic victory is a reminder that when we fight, we win. Communities across the country are rising up against the fossil fuel industry and demanding bold climate action. That’s a movement that will only continue to grow over the coming months and into the next Presidency. There’s much more work to get done.”
350 is the red line for human beings, the most important number on the planet. The most recent science tells us that unless we can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million, we will cause huge and irreversible damage to the earth. But solutions exist. All around the world, a movement is building to take on the climate crisis, to get humanity out of the danger zone and below 350. This movement is massive, it is diverse, and it is visionary. We are activists, scholars, and scientists. We are leaders in our businesses, our churches, our governments, and our schools. We are clean energy advocates, forward-thinking politicians, and fearless revolutionaries. And we are united around the world, driven to make our planet livable for all who come after us.