STATEMENT ON U.S. FOSSIL FUELS POLICY AS NYC FLOODS

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On Friday Sept 29th, Fridays for Future New York City, one of the main organizers of the March to End Fossil Fuels, released the following statement in response to the state of emergency in New York and President Biden’s announcement of a five-year plan:

75,000 people marched less than two weeks ago in the now flooded streets of New York City demanding President Biden end fossil fuels.

Days later, President Biden and Secretary Kerry were forbidden from speaking at a UN Climate Ambition Summit due to the Administration’s fossil fuel expansion plans.

Yet, today, while our streets are flooding, the Biden Administration, ignoring the calls of millions of people, of science, and his own promises, issued plans for three new massive offshore oil and gas lease sales over the next five years.

Daliah Gressel, 18, of Fridays For Future NYC and an organizer for The March To End Fossil Fuels said

 “The largest city in the United States is flooding. As New Yorkers, our lives and studies have been interrupted today by dangerous, historic flash flooding and we cannot stand for it. Yet, Biden, ignoring the calls of over 75,000 people that marched to end fossil fuels two weeks ago, is planning even more fossil fuel projects. He is advancing deadly fossil fuel expansion, sacrificing a safe and livable future for our communities on the very same day every New Yorker is being affected by historic flooding.”

(Credit: (1) Xiye Bastida, X, (2) Emma Cassidy, Survival Media Agency, (3) @RandomHeroWX, X)

In addition to 800+ organizations and individuals, over 30 members of Congress joined with marchers in asking the Biden Administration for no new leases in the five-year plan, including several ranking members. Both Representatives Jayapal and Tlaib and Representative Pallone led letters.

While the Biden Administration has claimed their hands are tied due to the Inflation Reduction Act which they supported, an Oceana report shows that the Administration can still meet its wind energy goals and avoid new fossil fuel leasing. A separate report demonstrates that the U.S. can meet its energy needs many times over by building only on already-developed and degraded land.

New leases would lock the United States, already by far the top oil and gas producer in the world, into decades more of fossil fuel production incompatible with climate goals and exacerbating both environmental and climate injustice from the floods we’re seeing today to direct health impacts and spill risks from offshore drilling. We need to phase out all fossil fuel production on our federal lands and waters by 2030, and the science has zero tolerance for new approvals.

We cannot keep the Earth at a temperature of 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels without phasing out fossil fuels, and if we keep going like this, the life-threatening disasters, like we’re experiencing today in New York, will just keep getting worse.

As Lead Organizer Helen Mancini, 16, said at the March To End Fossil Fuels rally last week “this summer alone, New York City’s skies turned orange, Libya is flooded, Maui has burned and countless people died from heat and extreme weather.” Mancini said today’s historic rainfall is another example of this. “This is the world Biden and his peers have left for us. But this is not the world we are going to accept.”

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