Tell President Biden: Stop Approving Fossil Fuel Infrastructure

PA IPL joined many other climate justice organizations in our region and across the country this weekend to tell President Biden to stop approving fossil fuel infrastructure. This petition supports one of the demands of the Build Back Fossil Free Campaign, Climate President Action Plan, and upcoming People vs Fossil Fuels action in Washington, D.C. requesting President Biden stop approving fossil fuel projects. To learn more about People vs Fossil Fuels, visit: https://peoplevsfossilfuels.org/

We need President Biden’s Army Corps of Engineers to deny and revoke permits for fossil fuel infrastructure projects. Fossil fuel production and combustion are driving and escalating the climate emergency, and fossil fuel infrastructure is disproportionately harming Indigenous, Black, Brown, and low-wealth communities. 

Original co-petitioners of this petition are: Center for Biological Diversity, 7 Directions of Service, Action Center on Race and the Economy, Bold Alliance, Center for International Environmental Law, Giniw Collective, Greenfaith, Healthy Gulf, Honor the Earth, Indigenous Environmental Network, Louisiana Bucket Brigade, Mothers Out Front, Movement Rights, Oil Change International, Port Arthur Community Action Network, RISE Coalition, RISE St. James, and Waterkeeper Alliance.

Petition Summary:
Fossil fuel production and combustion are driving and escalating the climate emergency. The impacts of climate change and fossil fuel production most directly and severely harm Indigenous, Black, Brown and low-wealth communities that are already overburdened with air and water pollution, disproportionately high health risks and harms, destruction of natural resources, depression of property values, and other negative impacts.  President Joe Biden has pledged to follow the science and tackle the climate crisis with the urgency it demands with a “whole of government” approach. He has also committed to respecting Tribal sovereignty and U.S. treaty obligations and redressing environmental racism. Join us in demanding that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers advance these commitments by denying and revoking permits for fossil fuel infrastructure projects.

The Army Corps has regulatory authority under the Clean Water Act and Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 over permits required for many major fossil fuel infrastructure projects such as pipelines, import and export terminals, storage facilities, refineries, and petrochemical plants.  The Army Corps may not issue any permit if it would be “contrary to the public interest.” While there are many reasons to deny these permits, this petition focuses on why fossil fuel infrastructure projects are contrary to the public interest due to their climate and environmental justice harms alone. It demands that the Army Corps exercise its powers in a manner consistent with existing law and science by:

1) Instituting an immediate moratorium on the issuance of Clean Water Act Section 404 and Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 Section 10 permits for fossil fuel infrastructure projects;  

2) Promulgating a regulation to be codified at 33 U.S.C. § 320.5 declaring that permits for fossil fuel infrastructure are contrary to the public interest and therefore shall not be issued pursuant to the Clean Water Act and Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899;  

3) Revoking Nationwide Permit 12, which allows fossil fuel operators to construct oil and gas pipelines and related infrastructure without obtaining an individual permit, as contrary to the public interest; and 

4) Suspending and revoking individual permits for fossil fuel infrastructure projects that have been unlawfully issued because they are contrary to the public interest. (The petition highlights the Formosa Plastics Complex and Line 3 Pipeline as examples of such permits that must be revoked).