Offshore Drilling Decision Is A Climate Change Decision, Groups Tell Obama

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July 31, 2014, 6:37 a.m.

10:38 a.m. — En­vir­on­ment­al­ists say po­ten­tial Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion de­cisions to open new areas to off­shore drilling would un­der­cut White House ef­forts to battle cli­mate change. “If we are ser­i­ous about avert­ing an ad­di­tion­al 2-de­gree tem­per­at­ure in­crease, and avoid­ing the most cata­stroph­ic im­pacts of cli­mate change, we have to keep dirty fuels like oil and gas in the ground, and that should start with pro­tect­ing fra­gile areas and areas that have not yet been open to ex­plor­a­tion,” states a new let­ter to the In­teri­or De­part­ment from 21 groups. It’s an ef­fort to in­flu­ence In­teri­or’s on­go­ing de­vel­op­ment of its 2017-2022 off­shore oil-and-gas leas­ing plan. En­vir­on­ment­al­ists don’t want to plan to open the East Coast, or in­clude any new lease sales off Alaska’s coast, where some leas­ing has already oc­curred. — Ben Ge­man

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