NEW LEASE ON LIFE: End new oil drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico

After promising to "change the way we manage our oil and coal resources so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet” in the State of the Union, President Obama put new federal coal leases on hold. Will our President show the same climate leadership in the Gulf?

On March 23rd, the Department of the Interior will auction drilling leases to 43 million acres of federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico. Below the Gulf sits our planet’s 8th-largest source of potential carbon pollution. Should this auction proceed, we will remain on course for catastrophic climate impacts, endangering efforts to restore our priceless wetlands.

While the BP Disaster is the worst offshore accident in U.S. history, it is just one of thousands that have occurred since offshore drilling began in the 1930s. Spills, explosions, and worker injuries plague the industry, even as they move into deeper and more dangerous waters.

The industry is responsible for tragic wetland losses too, which threaten coastal communities across the Gulf. Louisiana alone loses over an acre of its storm-buffering wetlands every hour. This is an alarming rate, especially in a world of warming oceans and stronger storms.

Please support our vision for a Gulf region powered by solar and wind energy, and the immediate hiring of 1,000 workers to repair aging industry infrastructure and to restore the industry’s wetland destruction.

And also consider joining us in New Orleans on March 23rd, as the federal drilling auction takes place within the Superdome. We will encircle the Dome, calling for an end to new drilling. In this action, we will stand united with the Keep it in the Ground movement and communities around the world working to defend beloved lands and waters from drilling, mining, fracking, refining, and all other abuses of extractive industries.

Please use your final year in office to stand for a safe, healthy, and sustainable Gulf of Mexico.

Auctioning drilling leases to 43 million additional acres of federal waters is a move in the wrong direction, and away from the impressive leadership you've demonstrated with federal coal leases. To complete your administration’s efforts to avoid catastrophic climate impacts, the carbon pollution attached to these leases must not enter the atmosphere. Cancel this auction and instead direct your agencies towards analyzing the climate impacts of further industry development in the Gulf, while hiring workers to repair aging infrastructure and to restore destroyed wetlands.
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