Eco groups sue Biden admin over drilling permits
The US administration is in the scope of several environmental groups, as it is being sued over drilling permits it handed out in several states, undermining and jeopardizing the local ecosystems.
Three environmental organizations sued the Biden administration on Wednesday over its granting of thousands of permits allowing firms to drill for fossil fuel in violation of federal law.
The plaintiffs in the suit filed in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia alleged that the Bureau of Land Management violated the Endangered Species Act, as well as the National Environmental Policy Act and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act when it handed out 3,500 permits for oil drilling in Wyoming and New Mexico.
The environmental groups, namely the Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians, and the Western Environmental Law Center, explained that the drilling sites posed a threat to the ecosystems in their vicinity while jeopardizing 150 at-risk species.
Upon completion, the plaintiffs pointed out, the wells would emit 490 million and 600 million metric tons of carbon dioxide over their lifetime.
A member of the Center for Biological Diversity, Taylor McKinnon, sent an exclusive email to The Hill, in which she explained that the figure was based on the Bureau of Land Management's state-specific estimated ultimate recovery and emissions estimates determined per well.
The lawsuit further underlined that the permits, as a consequence, violated the Endangered Species Act's obligation requiring federal agencies to steer away from upping the threats and dangers posed to threatened and endangered species.
US President Joe Biden, shortly after taking office, signed an executive order requiring federal agencies to follow best practices for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The violation of the Federal Land Policy and Management, on the other hand, comes with the fact that the Bureau for Land Management's requirement of acting against any unnecessary degradation of public funds.
Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity, underscored the effects of fossil fuels and carbon emissions on the extinction crisis ravaging ecosystem after ecosystem. "[The] Bureau of Land Management is making things worse by failing to protect these imperiled species."
"The agency's cursory approval of more than 3,500 drilling permits contradicts President Biden’s pledges to address the terrifying threat of climate change. Every new well takes polar bears and many other species one step closer to extinction," he added.
Corporations in the fossil fuel sector and the banks that provide them with financing have "humanity by the throat," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday, heavily chastizing the extensively lucrative industry over its recent price hikes in light of the Ukraine war.
"We seem trapped in a world where fossil fuel producers and financiers have humanity by the throat. For decades, the fossil fuel industry has invested heavily in pseudoscience and public relations – with a false narrative to minimize their responsibility for climate change and undermine ambitious climate policies," he said in reference to the greenwashing campaigns launched by the biggest oil corporations in a bid to seem more eco friendly while contributing to economic collapse.
"They exploited precisely the same scandalous tactics as big tobacco decades before. Like tobacco interests, fossil fuel interests and their financial accomplices must not escape responsibility," the UN chief underlined before the Major Economies Forum.
The forum was organized by the White House, and it consisted of US President Joe Biden hosting the leaders of several bodies and countries from around the world with climate change in mind as the US leader prepares to head to Saudi Arabia to convince Riyadh and other Gulf states to pump out more oil into the energy market.
Following a May meeting, more than 70 non-governmental organizations and activist groups from around the world formed a "carbon bomb defusal" network to share expertise and resources in the fight to stop the projects and prevent the catastrophic climate breakdown they would cause.
195 carbon bombs, massive oil and gas projects that would each emit at least a billion tons of CO2 over their lifetimes, amounting to roughly 18 years of current global CO2 emissions, and about 60% of these have already started pumping, ignoring the risks they pose to the already fragile climate.