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Tell President Obama: Public lands are not for private profits

America’s public lands are being sold at bargain prices for oil, coal and gas extraction — making the world’s wealthiest companies richer, and making the world’s climate crisis worse.

President Obama can end this broken system with a stroke of his pen. Urge him to end fossil fuel leasing on public lands! 


Some of the world’s richest energy companies — like ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, and Arch Coal — are exploiting and degrading America’s public lands and offshore waters, causing serious harm to the health of communities and sending massive carbon pollution into the atmosphere through increasingly extreme extraction methods. Today, more than 65 million acres of public lands are already leased to the fossil fuel industry — that’s 55 times the size of Grand Canyon National Park! Mining, drilling, and fracking for coal, oil, and gas on publicly owned lands accounts for an astonishing one-quarter of the United States’ climate change emissions.

The federal government enables this destruction at a tremendous cost to the U.S. taxpayer by selling off our national forests, grasslands, deserts, oceans, and sacred heritage sites for pennies on the dollar — incredibly, for as little as $2 an acre. The antiquated and opaque federal fossil fuel leasing program transfers vast amounts of public wealth into private hands by auctioning off public lands and offshore waters for corporate profit.

Tell President Obama: Public lands are not for private profit. Stop fossil fuel leasing on public lands.

Today, Rainforest Action Network is releasing a groundbreaking new report, Public Lands, Private Profits, that pulls back the curtain on this corporate giveaway of America’s treasured public lands.1 For example, just 15 huge fossil fuel companies — such as Shell, Chevron and BP — control 36% of leased federal land. These “Filthy 15” dirty energy corporations generate millions of dollars of profit every year by abusing our shared national resources, shaping our environmental future for generations to come. Between them, they’re responsible for a horrific legacy of environmental disasters: offshore oil spills, explosions, pipeline ruptures, and household water contamination, resulting in multi-million dollar settlements.

The system is broken. Urge President Obama to end it.

President Obama has the constitutional authority to issue an Executive Order to immediately end the outdated practice of fossil fuel leasing on public lands and offshore waters. With a stroke of his pen, he could stop bankrolling wealthy energy corporations, prevent environmental destruction, preserve the heritage of Indigenous sacred sites, and slow the disastrous effects of climate change. He could keep a staggering 450 billion tons of carbon pollution out of the atmosphere — almost half of all potential emissions from remaining U.S. fossil fuels.2 By contrast, the president’s Climate Action Plan, if fully implemented, would keep less than 6 billion tons of carbon out of the air.3 If President Obama wants a truly lasting climate legacy, he should end fossil fuel leasing on public lands.

Two weeks ago, RAN and more than 400 national allies delivered a letter to the White House calling for President Obama to stop the corporate giveaway of public lands and become a real leader on climate change.4 Now the president needs to hear from you. Please stand with us! Add your voice.



1. Public Lands, Private Profits, Rainforest Action Network, September 2015

2. "The Potential Greenhouse Gas Emissions of U.S. Federal Fossil Fuels", EcoShift Consulting, Center for Biological Diversity, and Friends of the Earth, August 2015

3. "President Obama’s Climate Action Plan: 2nd Anniversary Progress Report", The White House, June 2015

4. "President Obama Urged to End Fossil Fuel Leases on Public Land", Inside Climate News, September 14, 2015

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  • Libi Kavanah
    commented 2016-01-15 04:52:08 -0800
    404! follow the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
    What’s Behind the ‘Patriot’ Movement?
    Whose Really Fusing it?
    Whose Really Funding it?
    WHY now during the Obama Years and not during the Republican Years?
    President Obama set aside more land for the Public ‘federal’ good’ – for YOU AND ME!!! than any other President, except for Roosevelt.
    These ‘PEOPLE
    The ’Patriots’ funded by large corporations and fused by their CANDIDATES!
    don’t ‘like’ this!
    They want that Land – YOURS and MINE!!
    for thei own Private corporations!!
    They want the land, the resources and $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$!!
    Don’t be fooled by the
    This is BUSINESS
    And it’s SERIOUS!
    It’s not just our land that’s at stake, it’s our entire humanities future.
    If we destroy all the WILD Lands on earth, We will destroy Humainty.
    And I doubt many of you have a ‘ticket to MARS
    Wake UP people!
    You are being ‘used’ Once agin.
    Don’t fall for this TRICKE.
    Cause TRUST me !
    You are not the ones who will benefit! from this