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House Votes to Silence Public Opposition to Oil and Gas Lease Sales

WASHINGTON - The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that will shield offshore oil and gas lease sales from public scrutiny. House Resolution 5577: Innovation in Offshore Leasing Act, sponsored by Representatives Garret Graves (R-La.) and Alan Lowenthal (D-Ca.) would require the Bureau of Ocean Management to conduct an Internet-based lease sale for oil and gas deposits in the Gulf of Mexico. An online lease system will marginalize public input and comes amid rising public pressure from the Keep It in the Ground movement to end new oil and gas leasing on public lands and oceans. A coalition of community-based groups from the Gulf Coast and Alaska, supported by national allies, sent a letter to House leadership in July expressing strong opposition to the bill, because the bill would threaten wildlife, coastal communities and the climate. 

Friends of the Earth Climate Campaigner Marissa Knodel issued the following response:

 

New fossil fuel leasing is wrong for people and the planet. Moving lease sales online will only make it easier for fossil fuel companies to keep the Gulf of Mexico as an energy sacrifice zone. Across the nation, and in the Gulf in particular, the movement to keep fossil fuels in the ground is gaining strength and momentum. Congress should listen to the voices of the people in the Gulf demanding a safe climate future and just transition to a renewable energy economy, not the fossil fuel industry.

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