Turtle Island Restoration Network joined over 500 climate, conservation, environmental justice, and indigenous groups in imploring the U.S. Department of the Interior to end the federal leasing programs and wind down existing federal oil and gas production.   

Taking swift, measurable, and commensurate action with the scale of the challenge presented by the climate emergency would deliver on President Biden’s commitment to scale back on fossil fuels and establishes the groundwork for a stable and thriving future. The U.S. Department of the Interior has the authority and responsibility to perform these actions of ending the federal fossil fuel lending programs and bringing an end to production of oil and gas.

The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 showcases the responsibilities of the Interior, and the actions to end federal oil and gas programs are well within these responsibilities. Among these duties are accounting for “the long-term needs of future generations,” taking “any action necessary to prevent unnecessary or undue degradation of the lands,” and more.

Action by the Interior would fight the current climate crisis, as well as help achieve President Biden’s goal to conserve 30 percent of the country’s lands and waters by 2030. The actions by the Interior today would have an impact for decades to come.