news releases

01 December 2021

Hispanic Access Statement on DOI Oil and Gas Report

Category: News Releases

On Nov. 26, the Department of Interior released its report on federal oil and gas leasing and permitting practices. The report comes after a review of onshore and offshore oil and gas programs, and it identifies significant reforms. In response to the report, Maite Arce, president and CEO of Hispanic Access Foundation, released the following statement.

“From start to finish, the oil and gas system has harmed Latinos and communities of color and contributed to the Nature Gap. From on- and offshore drilling that overwhelmingly pollutes our communities, to the burning of oil and gas on our highways and power plants located disproportionately close to neighborhoods of color, to the storms, drought, extreme heat, and out-of-control wildfires caused by the climate crisis – our communities are affected at every step.

“Our public lands and ocean preserve our shared cultural heritage, provide places to recreate and connect with nature, spend time with families, and contribute to local economies, providing millions of jobs. It is imperative that the Senate passes the Build Back Better Act with the federal oil and gas reforms adopted by the House in order to begin to address the issues highlighted in this report.”

“It is urgent the Department of Interior takes further action to account for oil and gas extraction’s impacts on the climate crisis and on the health of local communities. More must be done to protect our public lands, ocean, climate and our local communities.”

On August 24, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Interior told a federal judge it would begin the process of holding new onshore and offshore oil and gas lease sales. This would put Interior on track to hold onshore auctions in early 2022, backtracking President Biden’s previous commitment to reform the oil and gas system. The key proposed recommendations in the report include avoiding leasing that conflicts with recreation, wildlife habitat, conservation, historical and cultural resources, adjusting royalty and bonding rates, and prioritizing leasing in areas with known resource potential.

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Hispanic Access Foundation connects Latinos and others with partners and opportunities to improve lives and create an equitable society.

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