Statement: Public forum on federal oil and gas program should be first step toward a permanent ban

Along with pausing oil and gas leasing for federal lands and waters, the Interior Department begins reexamining entire extraction program
For Immediate Release

DENVER--The Department of Interior is holding a forum on oil and gas drilling Thursday that provides an opportunity to hear about the risks and dangers associated with drilling on public lands and waters. This forum is part of a review by the department to coincide with a one-year moratorium on oil and gas leasing on public lands and in federal waters ordered by President Joe Biden in January. 

The president’s executive order directed the department to assess the costs federal oil and gas permitting and leasing has on climate and the environment in light of the department's responsibilities as a steward of public lands and oceans.

Ellen Montgomery, Public Lands campaign director issued the following statement:

“Fossil fuel development threatens the health and beauty of some of our nation's most iconic places. Once ruined, unique landscapes can never be restored and, once habitats are destroyed, species cannot survive. 

“The bottom line: Ending new oil and gas claims on public lands is critical to protecting the lands that make America beautiful. 

“President Biden has already taken an important first step to safeguard public lands by putting a temporary halt on oil and gas leasing. Now, he should build on that key action by turning the moratorium into a permanent ban."

Kelsey Lamp, Protect Our Oceans campaign director issued the following statement issued the following statement: 

“When we drill, we spill. From the Deepwater Horizon to the recent Chevron oil spill in California, offshore drilling leads to too many tragic consequences for our wildlife and our coastal communities. At a time when clean renewable technologies are rapidly advancing, there’s no reason to continue leasing along our coasts. I thank the Department of Interior for pausing leasing and hope the current moratorium on oil and gas leasing in our federal waters will be made permanent.”