Public land for the price of a cup of coffee?

A letter from regarding how the federal government has given the fossil fuel industry a free pass.

Dear Friend,

Did you know that the federal government leases public lands and waters to the fossil fuel industry so it can drill for oil and gas and mine for coal?

In some cases, this land is being leased for the price of a cup of coffee per acre.

The worst part? Nearly a quarter of climate-destroying emissions in the United States come from fossil fuels pumped or mined from lands and waters that belong to the public.

From Alaska to Wyoming to the Gulf of Mexico, hundreds of millions of acres of federal lands and waters are at risk of being drilled and mined, posing serious risks to the global climate. A single project proposed in Alaska’s Western Arctic could generate more carbon than 56 million cars emit in a year. Our litigation stopped this project for now and the Court ordered the Biden administration to do a new evaluation of its climate threat. In a moment when we need to transition swiftly to clean energy, these kinds of projects are beyond reckless.

Earthjustice is in court in the Western Arctic case and many others like it to end this kind of fossil fuel leasing and drilling.

We recently secured a victory in the Gulf of Mexico when a judge ruled in our favor and tossed out the Interior Department’s decision to offer 80 million acres to the fossil fuel industry.  And while this was a remarkable win, we know we can’t stop now.

Earthjustice is working with tribal partners, community groups, and conservation organizations to end new leasing of public lands and waters for fossil fuels and to limit coal, oil, and gas development on public lands leased in the past. We are using the power of the law to protect special places, wildlife habitats, and our air and water — and keep fossil fuels in the ground where they can’t destroy our climate.

The fossil fuel industry has gotten a free pass to pollute for too long — and at the expense of nearby communities and our climate. We are in court to stop them. 

As always, I am so grateful for your partnership.  

Eric Jorgensen
Senior Attorney

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