Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced that federal onshore and offshore oil and gas leasing will continue as required by a district court in Louisiana. The department also announced that the Department of Justice would be appealing the decision. In response, John Podesta, founder and chair of the board of directors at the Center for American Progress, and Christy Goldfuss, senior vice president for Energy and Environment Policy at CAP, released the following statement:
We are disappointed that a district court judge stands in the way of commonsense climate action and that the administration has been forced into a corner on leasing by the same oil industry CEOs that have willfully undermined climate science, shirked fiscal responsibility, and prospered at the expense of taxpayers, communities, and tribes.
The fact remains that the federal leasing system is broken and needs to be reformed. We expect that the administration will continue its full review of the federal program and that bold reforms, consistent with the law, will be forthcoming in the coming months. Between speculation, noncompetitive leasing, and century-old royalty rates, the oil industry is subsidized to drill on public lands while placing substantial costs and risks on the American people.
Instead of taxpayers footing the bill, oil and gas companies must pay the full price of the program and clean up the mess they make on our public lands. With this announcement, it becomes even more important that Congress act now to institute prudent leasing reforms that protect taxpayers, the climate, and our national public lands and waters.
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