Biden’s executive actions on climate must address fossil fuel supply and infrastructure in the U.S.

January 27, 2021

‘Now is the moment for the U.S. to support a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty’

SAN FRANCISCO — U.S. President Joe Biden today announced a number of Executive Actions to “Tackle the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, Create Jobs, and Restore Scientific Integrity Across Federal Government.” San Francisco-based environmental organization Stand.earth applauds the announcement, but acknowledges the need for the Biden administration to also implement additional, concrete actions to constrain fossil fuel supply and infrastructure — both domestically and internationally.

In response to President Biden’s climate-related executive actions, Matt Krogh, US Oil and Gas Campaign Director for Stand.earth, issued the following statement:

“For far too long, environmental justice communities have been invisible in federal policies. Today’s executive orders start the long process to elevate and prioritize the disparate impacts of fossil fuel pollution on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in rural and urban communities. The sweeping climate announcements by the Biden administration set the U.S. in the right direction: affirming the need to center environmental justice in every federal agency; to heal communities impacted by fossil fuel extraction, refining, and combustion; to protect the Arctic Refuge and other sacred lands; to remove fossil fuel subsidies; and to elevate science and climate across federal agencies. Without this type of executive leadership, current and historical environmental injustices will never be addressed.

The decision to suspend oil and gas leasing on federal lands is an important first step. But we are in an immediate climate emergency, and people are impacted right now by ongoing efforts to build new, polluting fossil fuel infrastructure — like the Line 3 tar sands pipeline and the continuing threat of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Today’s climate actions are an impressive effort to right the ship of state, which should be complemented by immediate action to stop all new fossil fuel infrastructure to prevent carbon lock-in and stranded assets. 

Re-joining the Paris Agreement was the right thing to do, as an encouraging start. But we should be clear that this agreement fails to even name fossil fuels. In the years since the Paris Agreement, things have gotten much worse. The UN’s recent Production Gap report shows the necessity of national policies to constrain fossil fuel production. Internationally, now is the moment for the U.S. to become a moral leader on the world stage and support a Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, similar to Vice President Kamala Harris’ call in autumn 2019, which would bring the nations of the world together to equitably halt expanded production of fossil fuels, begin the process of phasing out production, and create a pathway for a peaceful transition to 100% clean energy. Domestically, the Build Back Fossil Free roadmap offers key policy specifics that can support these executive actions, as the nation tries to halt and reverse the COVID-19 pandemic.”

BACKGROUND

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Media contact: Matt Krogh, U.S. Oil & Gas Campaigns Director, mattkrogh@stand.earth, +1 360 820 2938 (Pacific Time)