Scientists to Biden: Don’t Ramp Up Fossil Fuels
Published Apr 7, 2022
As President Biden moves to ramp up fossil fuel production and infrastructure, scientists implore him to listen to science: Move off fossil fuels now.
In recent weeks, President Biden and his administration have moved to grow fossil fuel production and infrastructure. These actions fly in the face of climate science, which mandates a transition off of fossil fuels right away.
Now, scientists are speaking out, imploring President Biden to follow through on his commitments. As a candidate, Biden promised to listen to science, but his recent actions suggest the opposite.
The increased drought, wildfires, hurricanes, and floods that we’re experiencing would be reason enough to curb these new plans. But the Ukraine crisis has further underscored the dangers of continued reliance on fossil fuels.
Europe is planning for dramatic cuts in Russian gas and looking toward new sources. Rather than going all-in on renewable energy, Europe wants increased U.S. gas imports — for over a decade to come. This is a recipe for climate disaster.
A Broken Promise — President Biden Moves to Increase Fossil Fuel Production and Infrastructure
When President Biden ran for office, he pledged to listen to science. He also pledged to stop new drilling on federal lands and initiate a transition off of fossil fuels.
He was already falling massively short on these promises before the Ukraine crisis, but now he has reversed course completely. He and his administration have urged increased fossil fuel production, rush approvals of its infrastructure, and more exports to Europe.
His plan envisions a huge increase of gas exports by 2030 — more than tripling a big increase this year.
What these exports mean for the U.S. is more drilling and fracking. They mean more pipelines through communities and massive, polluting industrial facilities. These come with a litany of safety risks and local pollution, which have devastating environmental justice and health impacts.
More exports will also have monumental climate impacts, according to the most recent IPCC scientific report. Global emissions continue to increase and the very narrow window to avoid even 2 degrees of warming is rapidly closing. Building more infrastructure will certainly lock us into decades of more emissions.
As UN Secretary-General António Guterres said upon the release of the IPCC report: “Investing in new fossil fuels infrastructure is moral and economic madness.”
Failing on Climate: Lies From Leaders Will Be “Catastrophic”
The Biden approach to climate is, unfortunately, not unique. As the IPCC report highlights, governments worldwide have broken prior commitments even though those fell far short of what the planet needs.
The only way to avert even worse impacts is to embrace scientific reality and adopt policies matching the rapidly escalating climate emergency. This means confronting hard truths and paying the crisis more than lip service.
The only way to really achieve energy independence and security is to move off of fossil fuels. That means making quick, bold investments in renewable energy and immediately halting and rolling back fossil fuels and their infrastructure. To do otherwise fails to confront what is happening.
As Secretary-General Guterres said, “Some government and business leaders are saying one thing — but doing another… Simply put, they are lying, and the results will be catastrophic.”
Scientists Implore Biden to Reverse Course Before It’s Too Late
While President Biden has charted a perilous course, there’s still time to reverse and confront the reality of the climate crisis. Over 275 scientists wrote Biden to implore him to act.
This is directly in response to his announced plans to double down on fossil fuels and the IPCC report release. Scientists urged Biden to instead take bold action to move off fossil fuels and infrastructure. That includes rejecting the mad dash to increase production and exports.
The initiative for this letter is led by scientists Bob Howarth, Mark Jacobson, Michael Mann, Sandra Steingraber, and Peter Kalmus. The message is prophetic and clear in its call to action. It concludes:
“As scientists who look at data every day, we implore you to keep this promise and listen to what the scientific community is saying about fossil fuels and the climate crisis. Do not facilitate more fuel extraction and infrastructure. The impacts of climate change are already significant and we have a very narrow window to avoid runaway climate chaos. We urge you to lead boldly, take on the fossil fuel titans, and rally the country towards a renewable energy future.”
Help amplify this call to action. Join them, as well as all of us at Food & Water Watch, in calling on President Biden to reject fossil fuels — now.
Tell President Biden to reject this mad dash toward more fossil fuels.
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