Statement: Biden’s EO Puts Public Interest Ahead of Big Oil, Climate Denialists

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Joe Biden today is expected to sign a series of executive orders aimed at tackling the climate crisis, including a pause on new oil and gas leases on federal lands. These actions reverse four years of Trump-era handouts to fossil fuel insiders who had extraordinary access to the Trump administration. Public Citizen experts released the following statements:

“The administration’s orders are a strong step forward that will put the U.S. much closer to the pathway needed to respond to the climate crisis. Its commitment to a whole-of-government approach on climate, restoration of science and focus on equity and justice are exactly what is needed.

“There are pieces that could be improved. It should set more ambitious near-term targets, it is light on transportation, and it does not address the role of financial regulators on climate. We look forward to working with the administration to implement these critical orders and fill the gaps.”

– David Arkush, managing director, Public Citizen’s climate program

“The Biden administration’s pause of oil and gas and leasing on federal lands and waters is a welcome reversal of Trump-era policies that put fossil fuel CEOs and climate denialists ahead of the public interest. After four years of the Trump administration ransacking our public lands, ignoring the climate crisis and accelerating the loss of nature and biodiversity, this plan is hopeful news.

“Americans have learned all too well over the past years that the oil and gas industry has had far too much influence in Washington, with the direct result that the federal government has elevated the narrow interests of Big Oil even over the imperative of protecting humanity from the existential threat of catastrophic climate change.

“The Biden administration now has a chance to support our clean energy future instead of our fossil fuel past, including by making this moratorium permanent and getting America off dirty fuels as soon as possible.”

– Robert Weissman, president, Public Citizen