In the Wake of Devastating Flooding in Louisiana, Groups Urge Obama Administration to Cancel Upcoming Gulf Drilling Lease Sale

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In the Wake of Devastating Flooding in Louisiana, Groups Urge Obama Administration to Cancel Upcoming Gulf Drilling Lease Sale

350.org, CREDO, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Center for Biological Diversity, MoveOn.org Civic Action, Oil Change International, Endangered Species Coalition, Bold Alliance, Friends of the Earth, Rainforest Action Network, Greenpeace, Earthworks, and the No New Leases Coalition tell President Obama: The Gulf Coast is not for sale

BATON ROUGE, La. - In the wake of unprecedented flooding in central and southwestern Louisiana, leading national environmental organizations are calling on the Obama administration to cancel an upcoming fossil fuel auction in the Gulf.

The devastating flooding is among the most severe weather disasters since Hurricane Sandy. Across the region, tens of thousands of people have been evacuated, thousands of homes damaged, and at least eleven people killed.

Next Wednesday, on August 24th, the Obama administration is planning to sell off an area the size of Virginia for offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Climate science tells us that burning more fossil fuels will only lead to more severe weather events like this one. In the midst of this disaster, moving forward with this auction is unconscionable.

The groups have circulated a petition – already signed by over 100,000 people - calling on the Obama administration to cancel the auction.

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 The effort was coordinated by: 350.org, CREDO, Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Center for Biological Diversity, MoveOn.org Civic Action, Oil Change International, Endangered Species Coalition, Bold Alliance, Friends of the Earth, Rainforest Action Network, Earthworks, and Greenpeace. The petition effort is meant to build on the leadership of local groups in the Gulf Coast, including the No New Leases Coalition.

The petition comes as hundreds of people prepare to march in New Orleans this Saturday to call for climate justice and demand an end to the Gulf Coast region’s treatment as a sacrifice zone for the benefit of the fossil fuel industry. Groups are also planning to inundate the White House with phone calls next week to demand the Administration cancel Wednesday’s auction.

“My heart is filled with both a deep sadness and deep anger -- at the fossil fuel companies driving this ongoing crisis, and at an Administration that continues to sell them the right to do so,” said Cherri Foytlin, Gulf Coast mother of six and State Director of Bold Louisiana, whose home was among the 40,000 that flooded this week. “The fact that this fossil fuel auction is set to take place in the New Orleans Superdome -- the site of one of the most visible and tragic instances of climate injustice in recent history -- is nothing short of insulting. Allowing next week’s fossil fuel auction to move forward is rubbing salt in the wounds of a region already in a state of emergency.”

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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.

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