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President Biden Signs Executive Order to Halt Oil and Gas Leasing and Tackle Climate Change

Today’s historic action stops the federal government’s dangerous offshore drilling plans while committing the U.S. to bold actions to address the climate emergency.

The Surfrider Foundation and our partners are celebrating today’s announcement by the Biden administration to tackle the climate emergency through a variety of executive actions. Commitments outlined in the Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad include a “temporary pause” on new oil and natural gas leasing on public lands and waters, effectively killing the Department of Interior’s pending proposal to open over 90% of U.S. coasts to new offshore drilling.

The Surfrider Foundation’s Environmental Director, Pete Stauffer, issued the following statement in response to today’s announcement:

“The Surfrider Foundation applauds today’s historic action by the Biden administration to tackle the climate emergency that is threatening our coasts and ocean and the many people that depend on these resources. Offshore drilling is a dirty and dangerous practice that pollutes the ocean, harms coastal communities, and exacerbates climate change. We call on the administration and Congress to take additional actions to address the climate crisis, including permanently banning new oil and gas leasing on public lands and waters.”

Surfrider’s successful campaign to stop the federal government’s offshore drilling proposal included educating millions of people about the threat, organizing thousands of businesses through our Sign the Surfboard project, and passing hundreds of community resolutions on the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts. At our Hill Day events in Washington, D.C., we met with more than 100 congressional offices each year and organized business roundtables with the White House, Department of Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

Surfrider also fought the federal offshore drilling proposal by passing state laws that make it more difficult for companies to drill offshore for oil and gas. Working with coalition partners, Surfrider’s network passed state offshore drilling bans in California, Florida, New Jersey, Oregon, New York, Maine, New Hampshire, Virginia and Delaware. Finally, Surfrider filed successful litigation to stop seismic airgun blasting off the Atlantic coast, the first damaging step of the offshore drilling process.

While today’s announcement is deserving of celebration, Surfrider recognizes that our work to protect our nation’s coasts is far from done. In order to prevent the Department of Interior from issuing offshore oil and gas lease sales in the future, we are calling for our federal leaders to permanently protect U.S. waters from new oil and gas development. This is a critical provision of the Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act, one of Surfrider’s federal priorities for the new Congress. To easily contact your representatives in support of this bill, please click here.