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STATEMENT: “We must stop propping up the oil and gas industry”

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ExxonValdez
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JUNEAU – The following statement was issued by Michael LeVine, Senior Arctic Fellow at Ocean Conservancy, in advance of his participation in the Department of the Interior public forum on the federal oil and gas program scheduled for March 25, 2021:

“This forum takes place between the anniversaries of the March 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and the April 2010 Deepwater Horizon tragedy. These milestones serve as unfortunate reminders of the significant risks from offshore oil and gas activities and the clear need for a just transition away from dependence on fossil fuels and toward sustainable sources of energy.

“Pausing and reevaluating the federal oil and gas program is clearly a needed step in the right direction. We are encouraged by the commitment shown by the Biden-Harris administration and Secretary Haaland to listen to diverse stakeholders and to reverse the course set by the previous leadership at the Department of the Interior.

“We must stop propping up the oil and gas industry and, instead, expedite a just transition that includes Tribes and coastal communities and ensures healthy ecosystems, cultures and economies. Fostering this transition is particularly urgent for my home state of Alaska, where climate change is already having significant impacts.

“The new administration should revamp the Department of the Interior’s outdated regulations and work with leaders in Congress to introduce comprehensive reform legislation. Congress’s refusal to take any action to address the myriad problems made evident by the Deepwater Horizon tragedy is a shameful legacy that we now have the opportunity and obligation to remedy.

“The time for inaction is past. We need to take bold steps to address the growing climate crisis and to ensure a healthy ocean for future generations.”
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Michael LeVine is available for interviews upon request.

Ocean Conservancy is working to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together with our partners, we create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit oceanconservancy.org, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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