For Immediate Release

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Online Lease Sale Aims to Chill Opposition

In response to the federal government’s announcement that it will hold the next offshore lease sale online, breaking the longstanding practice of having them open to the public; Miyoko Sakashita, oceans director at the Center for Biological Diversity, had this response:

“Ending the public forum for lease sales is an attempt to chill the growing opposition to drilling in federal waters. But it won't silence this movement or its plan to protest this sale. Obama’s expansion of offshore oil drilling is inconsistent with his pledge to limit climate change. An online sale allows the federal government to hide behind closed doors while the public is demanding that we keep oil in the ground and stop leasing our public lands. The lease sale that will offer nearly 24 million acres of the Gulf of Mexico will deepen our climate crisis and put Gulf Coast communities at risk of oil spills and air pollution. Rather than moving the lease sale online, Obama should be ushering in a clean energy future and transition off the oil economy.”

Lease Sale 248 will offer nearly 24 million acres of federal waters for oil development, the federal government estimates that up to 200 million barrels of oil and 938 billion cubic feet of gas may be developed as a result of this lease sale. The downstream greenhouse gas emissions from this lease sale are inconsistent with the nation’s pledge to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

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At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature - to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law, and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters, and climate that species need to survive.

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