20 Million Acres for Sale in Gulf for Offshore Drilling While U.S. Talks Big at UN Climate Summit
by Andy Rowell
Jonathan Pershing, a senior negotiator for the U.S., said: “Those who don’t know what the U.S. is doing may not be informed of the scale and extent of the effort, but it’s enormous.”
Whether the U.S. has taken enormous steps on climate change is open to debate. What we do know is that we have a newly re-elected President who in his acceptance speech said, “We want our children to live in a world without the destructive power of a warming planet."
In order to tackle climate change, the U.S. cannot continue on a path of relentless oil and gas drilling, as currently espoused in the President’s Energy plan, known as “All of the Above,” which advocates a mix of oil, gas, nuclear, renewables and the contradiction which is clean coal.
As Steve Kretzmann and I pointed out in the aftermath of Obama’s re-election: “The President cannot simultaneously fight climate change and support an All of the Above/Drill Baby Drill energy strategy. It would be like launching a war on cancer while promoting cheap cigarettes for kids. Leadership on climate requires understanding this.”
But it seems that the Obama Administration is going to carry on selling those cheap cigarettes, instead of fighting climate change. Later today as part of Obama’s “All of the Above” energy strategy, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold an oil and gas lease sale that will make more than 20 million offshore acres available to oil and gas drilling.
This represents all the unleased areas in what is known as Western Gulf of Mexico Planning Area. The size of the sale is also startling when you consider we are still working out the ecological and financial costs of the Deepwater Horizon spill.
Least you wonder who is pulling the strings about the Administration’s energy plan, make no mistake it is the President. “At President Obama’s direction, his Administration continues to implement a comprehensive, all-of-the-above energy strategy, expanding domestic production, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and supporting jobs,” said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar.
The lease sale, to be held later today in New Orleans, will be the first held under the Administration’s new Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012–2017, which makes available for exploration and development all of the offshore areas with the highest potential of the U.S.’s oil and gas resources.
The President’s “All of the Above” energy plan is misguided. In reality it is little more than “Drill Baby Drill” by another name. The science is telling us that we cannot have all of the above. We cannot carry on relentless oil and gas drilling.
Earlier this month, when the World Bank warned we were on course for a 4 degree warming, unless radical action was taken, its President stated: “Lack of action on climate change threatens to make the world our children inherit a completely different world than we are living in today. ”
So when Obama says, “We want our children to live in a world without the destructive power of a warming planet,” he had better alter his “All of the Above” energy plan to include no more fossil fuels.
By Jessica Corbett
This story was originally published on Common Dreams on September 19, 2020.
Some advocates kicked off next week's Climate Week NYC early Saturday by repurposing the Metronome, a famous art installation in Union Square that used to display the time of day, as a massive "Climate Clock" in an effort to pressure governments worldwide to take swift, bold action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and rein in human-caused global heating.
<div id="0bde7" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="002ce26d8d0c627f76d752e14d234d6e"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1307397838884741121" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">LIVE: #ClimateClock about to go live at Union square replacing the atronomical clock, with a carbon countdown!… https://t.co/5OzxwUwWDf</div> — Greg Schwedock🌹(⧖) (@Greg Schwedock🌹(⧖))<a href="https://twitter.com/GregSchwedock/statuses/1307397838884741121">1600542909.0</a></blockquote></div><p>A mobile climate clock that Swedish youth activist Greta Thunberg "now carries with her, as well as the larger Climate Clock project, was assembled by a team of artists, makers, scientists, and activists based in New York, and is part of the Beautiful Trouble community of projects," according to <a href="https://climateclock.world/" target="_blank">Climateclock.world</a>, which details the science behind the numbers displayed and how to install clocks in other cities.</p>
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