Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

20 Million Acres for Sale in Gulf for Offshore Drilling While U.S. Talks Big at UN Climate Summit

Climate
20 Million Acres for Sale in Gulf for Offshore Drilling While U.S. Talks Big at UN Climate Summit

Oil Change International

by Andy Rowell

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 in the Western Gulf of Mexico Planning Area.

At the UN climate talks in Doha, the U.S. is claiming credit for “enormous” efforts on climate change.

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.

Visit EcoWatch’s CLIMATE CHANGE and OFFSHORE OIL DRILLING pages for more related news on this topic.

 

The Metronome, a famous art installation in Union Square that used to display the time of day, has been repurposed into a "Climate Clock" for Climate Week NYC. Zack Winestine

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.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Ruth Bader Ginsburg speaks onstage at the event Fourth Annual Berggruen Prize Gala Celebrates 2019 Laureate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in New York City on Dec. 16, 2019. Ilya S. Savenok / Getty Images for Berggruen Institute

The passing of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg means the nation's highest court has lost a staunch advocate for women's rights and civil rights. Ginsburg was a tireless worker, who continued to serve on the bench through multiple bouts of cancer. She also leaves behind a complicated environmental legacy, as Environment and Energy News (E&E News) reported.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Project goal: To create an environmentally friendly and sustainable alternative to leather, in this case using fungi.

Read More Show Less
Plastic waste is bulldozed at a landfill. Needpix

The plastic recycling model was never economically viable, but oil and gas companies still touted it as a magic solution to waste, selling the American public a lie so the companies could keep pushing new plastic.

Read More Show Less
54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Maria Symchych-Navrotska / Getty Images

By Pamela Davis-Kean

With in-person instruction becoming the exception rather than the norm, 54% of parents with school-age children expressed concern that their children could fall behind academically, according to a poll conducted over the summer of 2020. Initial projections from the Northwest Evaluation Association, which conducts research and creates commonly used standardized tests, suggest that these fears are well-grounded, especially for children from low-income families.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch