Build Back Fossil Free, 2022 Letter to President Biden

Dear President Biden,

As organizations collectively representing millions of members and supporters, including Indigenous, Black, Brown, and frontline communities, we urge you to use your executive authority to speed the end of the fossil fuel era, protect our communities from the climate emergency, and address the severe harms caused by fossil fuels.

Your first year in office was marked by historic climate disasters, another alarming surge in domestic greenhouse gas emissions, and increasingly dire warnings from the leading scientists around the world. From hurricanes and floods, to wildfires and droughts, tens of millions of Americans are directly confronting the dangerous consequences of a warming world. Indigenous, Black, Brown, AAPI and working-class communities are disproportionately harmed not only by fossil-fueled extreme weather, but also targeted by oil, gas, and coal corporations and suffer the health impacts of toxic pollution and ongoing environmental injustices.

You have repeatedly identified the existential threat posed by climate change, calling it a “code red” for humanity, and stated in your first week in office, “In my view, we’ve already waited too long to deal with this climate crisis. We can’t wait any longer.”

You further promised “environmental justice will be at the center of all we do addressing the disproportionate health and environmental and economic impacts on communities of color — so-called ‘fenceline communities’.” And you elevated the respect of Indigenous sovereignty and ordered federal agencies to strengthen nation-to-nation relationships with Tribes.

These statements must be backed up by bolder action. You have the authority under existing law to wind down fossil fuel production and catalyze a just, renewable energy revolution to deliver healthier communities, a livable future, and millions of good-paying jobs. It’s critical that you use that authority as quickly and broadly as possible.

Together, we call on you to take these steps:
— Follow through on your promise to ban all new oil and gas leasing, drilling, and fracking on federal lands and waters.
— Direct federal agencies to stop approving fossil fuel projects, including pipelines, import and export terminals, storage facilities, refineries, and petrochemical plants. Direct the Department of Energy to halt gas exports to the full extent authorized by law.
— Declare a climate emergency under the National Emergencies Act , unlocking special powers to reinstate the crude oil export ban, redirect disaster relief funds toward distributed renewable energy construction in frontline communities and marshal companies to fast-track renewable transportation and clean power generation, creating millions of high-quality union jobs.

The U.S. must contribute its fair share to the global effort to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with what science, justice, and equity demand. Your administration’s legislative and regulatory climate proposals have not addressed limiting the production and burning of fossil fuels, the main driver of climate change. As fossil fuel lobbyists and politicians continue to block real climate action in Congress, bold executive action is desperately needed.

President Biden, you are the chief executive with immense powers to address our communities’ concerns.

You showed what serious climate leadership could look like in your first week in office when you canceled the Keystone XL pipeline and paused oil and gas leasing on federal lands. The urgency of the moment requires you to return to that original ambition. Fully deliver on your climate and environmental justice promises by using your executive authority to keep fossil fuels in the ground and build a resilient and affordable renewable energy system.

Emergency Petition to Biden’s Interior Dept: Stop Permitting Gulf Drilling

Please join us in petitioning the Secretary of the Department of the Interior to immediately stop approving new drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico unless and until the agency complies with NEPA and properly analyzes the climate impacts of approving new oil and gas drilling activity.

Read see the summary below and the full petition here: https://bit.ly/GulfPetition

**DEADLINE FOR JOINING: February 4th, 2022.**

Original signers include the Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the Earth, Healthy Gulf, Sierra Club, Indigenous Environmental Network, Port Arthur Community Action Network, and Carrizo Comecrudo Tribe Nation of Texas.

Thank you for your consideration. Please contact Molly Morabito (MMorabito@biologicaldiversity.org) at the Center for Biological Diversity with any questions.

SUMMARY

President Biden has acknowledged that we are facing a “profound climate crisis.” Yet rather than taking the bold action necessary to address the climate emergency, the Biden administration held the largest oil and gas lease sale in U.S. history this past November — offering up more than 80 million acres of the Gulf of Mexico to the oil industry.

This decision was not only a spectacular failure of climate leadership, it was also unlawful. On January 27th, a federal court invalidated the Department of the Interior’s decision to hold the lease sale (Lease Sale 257) because it failed to properly consider the climate impacts that would result from expanded oil and gas activity in any of its environmental analyses for the sale.

That same violation applies to all new oil and gas activity that the Interior has approved, and is approving, in the Gulf. The Interior Department has been using the same analyses that the federal court found unlawful to approve exploration plans, development plans, and drilling permits on nearly 11 million acres of the Gulf of Mexico already leased to oil companies.

The Interior’s failure to assess the climate impacts of drilling activity puts our climate, wildlife, and frontline communities at even greater risk from the numerous harms inherent in offshore oil and gas activity.

Please join us in petitioning the Secretary of the Department of the Interior to immediately stop approving new drilling permits in the Gulf of Mexico unless and until the agency complies with NEPA and properly analyzes the climate impacts of approving new oil and gas drilling activity.

Renewable Energy & The National Environmental Energy Standard with JEA

Part of PA IPL’s Ongoing Partnership with Jewish Earth Alliance

Speakers: Odette Mucha, Mid-Atlantic Regulatory Director and Federal Liaison Vote Solarand
An inspirational spiritual speaker.

Jewish Earth Alliance and PA Interfaith Power & Light are co-sponsoring this informational and motivational meeting on Wednesday, September 1 at 7:30pm.

The US still gets 60% of its electricity from fossil fuels. Electrical generation is a major source of carbon emissions, second only to transportation. To avert the worst effects of climate change we need to use 100% clean renewable energy such as from solar or wind. A federal Clean Energy Standards (CES) would mandate progress toward the use of renewables for the entire country, which would be a tremendous step toward eliminating the greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change.

Democrats are aiming to pass a budget under the rules of reconciliation, offering another opportunity to remediate the climate crisis. Their proposed $3.5 trillion budget includes CES, and other climate solutions such as electric car incentives and energy efficient buildings. Members of Congress need to hear our call for comprehensive CES that accelerates the transition to renewable energy, with justice for communities harmed by fossil fuel.

REGISTER HERE for Wednesday, September 1st.