The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

David Turnbull,, 202-316-3499
Collin Rees,, 308-293-3159

OCI Reaction to Interior Department Forum on Federal Oil and Gas Leasing Program


Today the US Department of Interior held a virtual public forum on the federal oil and gas program as it pursues potential changes to the leasing program. In response, David Turnbull, Strategic Communications Director with Oil Change International, released the following statement:

"Today we heard Indigenous and environmental justice leaders describe federal oil and gas leasing as an 'environmentally racist horror show.' We heard about communities inundated by climate-fueled sea level rise and other climate impacts, and of families bearing the brunt of local impacts from oil and gas production-related pollution. These voices critically highlight the environmental and climate justice imperatives that must guide Secretary Haaland and the Biden administration to permanently end new oil and gas leasing on federal lands.

"Meanwhile, we also heard oil and gas industry representatives ignore what's truly required to address the climate crisis, and spout lies and propaganda to protect their profits. With vague promises of far-off and inadequate changes full of loopholes and unproven approaches, the oil and gas industry failed to garner any credibility in addressing our climate crisis.

"The industry is already sitting on enough leases, sold in a Trump Administration firesale, to push us over the edge on climate. The only reasonable conclusion to the process of reforming the federal oil and gas program is for leasing to come to an end. We must embark on a just and managed phase out of oil and gas production in the United States, and our public lands and waters are a critical place to start."

Oil Change International is a research, communications, and advocacy organization focused on exposing the true costs of fossil fuels and facilitating the ongoing transition to clean energy.

(202) 518-9029