This is a good week for anyone who cares about protecting our climate. Today, Food & Water Watch is proud to stand with a broad swath of the environmental community in supporting Senator Merkley’s introduction of the Keep It in the Ground Act of 2015, which would stop all future leases for fossil fuels in federal lands. This sweeping and important legislation provides further evidence that the growing movement to ban fracking and keep fossil fuels in the ground is gaining political power, and it sends a strong signal to President Obama that he needs to advocate for a frack free and 100 percent renewable energy future this December at the Council of Parties climate talks in Paris.
The bill’s introduction comes on the heels of the yesterday’s delivery of the Global Frackdown letter to world leaders including President Obama. The letter is signed by 1,250 organizations from around the world, including over 700 groups from the Unites States, that are calling for a ban on fracking, support keeping fossil fuels in the ground, and demand a quick transition to a 100 percent renewable energy future. This letter is the broadest demonstration of support for a ban on fracking to date and shows the growing power of the movement.
All of this follows a year of tremendous activity and progress in the anti-fracking movement. Last December, following years of organizing, Governor Cuomo of New York moved to ban fracking in that state. Following that, Maryland adopted a two-year moratorium on fracking. We have worked with coalitions and state-based allies across the country, moving the call to ban fracking more into the mainstream political debate.
At the federal level, last December, we worked with Representatives Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) to introduce the Protect our Public Lands Act (HR 1902) in the House of Representatives. This bill bans fracking on all federal lands, making it the strongest federal anti-fracking measure to date. In this Congress, 29 additional members have joined the bill as co-sponsors and over 350,000 Americans signed petitions in support of the legislation.
While the introduction of the the Keep It In the Ground bill is tremendous news, it is important to recognize that in order to move towards passing it, we have to continue to work together to build this movement through organizing in communities across the United States. We need to pressure our members of Congress to support the Senator Merkley’s legislation and Representative Pocan’s Protect our Public Lands Act.
And, we need to keep in mind that while these acts of Congress are significant, they only address federal lands. In order to protect our climate future, we need to not only support these important measures, but work to ban fracking everywhere, keep all fossil fuels in the ground, and rapidly transition to a 100 percent renewable energy future.
That’s the message we’ll be taking to Paris and the message President Obama should take from the introduction of this new legislation, the Global Frackdown letter, and the organizing happening in states across the country. Add your voice and tell President Obama that fracking isn’t part of our climate