Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

For Immediate Release

Contact

John Horning, WildEarth Guardians, jhorning@wildearthguardians.org

Press Release

Climate Bill Headed to President Biden Sacrifices Public Lands While Locking Out Indigenous and Frontline Communities

Congress allowed the good in Inflation Reduction Act to be watered-down by provisions that fund polluters and expand fossil fuel leasing on public lands.
WASHINGTON -

On Tuesday, President Biden is expected to sign the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which many are hailing as the panacea for fighting climate change while overlooking provisions that lock-in fossil fuel extraction on public lands while locking out Indigenous and Frontline communities. Continued oil and gas leasing on public lands, tax credits for dirty coal companies, and wildfire funding that does not come with a change in how agencies manage public lands undermines many of the promised benefits of the legislation.

The following statement is from John Horning, Executive Director of WildEarth Guardians:

“The importance of our elected leaders coming together to find solutions to address the climate crisis cannot be understated. Scientists, experts, and organizations like Guardians have long been saying we must take bold action and make significant financial investments in clean energy or face dire consequences. Congress was poised to do that. Yet when given a chance, they allowed the good in this bill to be watered-down by provisions that prop-up polluters and expand fossil fuel leasing on public lands. This is at a time when Indigenous and Frontline communities have been calling for no new leasing to protect the air, the water, and the health and livelihoods of local communities.

Climate action must be centered around environmental justice and climate justice. This is especially essential for the Indigenous and Frontline communities that bear the brunt of continued fossil fuel extraction and development. We will never solve the climate crisis by locking in more fossil fuel exploitation and ignoring climate justice.

The fossil fuel industry has spent the past week celebrating this climate bill by suggesting it creates more certainty for them and their bottom line. It is true that this bill will lock in new rules that could open-up new oil and gas leasing opportunities for at least another decade. We simply cannot frack, drill, and burn our way to climate action. We must keep dirty fossil fuels in the ground and stop selling America’s public lands and waters to the fossil fuel industry.

While many of us take a moment to acknowledge this historic effort to fight climate change, we all must redouble our commitment to ending fossil fuel extraction on public lands and ensuring Congress is hearing from those who are most impacted by the Biden administration’s broken promises.”

###

WildEarth Guardians protects and restores the wildlife, wild places, wild rivers, and health of the American West. Driven by passion, we’ve tackled some of the West’s most difficult and pressing conservation challenges over the past three decades. We’ve celebrated small victories (banning leghold trapping in the state of Colorado), monumental triumphs (ending logging on more than 21 million acres in the Southwest), and everything in-between.

$158,000 Cost for ALS Treatment Called 'A Poster Child' for Unjust Drug Pricing

"The price of the newly approved drug combination Relyvrio to treat ALS," said one critic, "is yet another clear and powerful example of unjustified high prices set by drug companies that ultimately exploit patients."

Jake Johnson ·


Biden Takes 'Important First Step' With AI Bill of Rights Blueprint

While many experts welcomed the White House proposal to ensure automated systems don't erode civil liberties, others lamented the voluntary nature of what one tech writer called the "toothless" plan.

Brett Wilkins ·


Kenyan President Says 'Wind and Solar Energy Can Power the Development of Africa'

"Rather than trudging in the fossil fuel footsteps of those who went before, we can leapfrog this dirty energy and embrace the benefits of clean power," argues William Ruto.

Kenny Stancil ·


The Onion Files 'Masterfully Written' Amicus Brief in Support of Jailed Parodist

"As the globe's premier parodists, The Onion's writers also have a self-serving interest in preventing political authorities from imprisoning humorists."

Brett Wilkins ·


Jayapal Accuses Democratic Leaders of Botching Stock Trading Ban

"This should have been a no-brainer," said the Washington Democrat.

Julia Conley ·

Common Dreams Logo