Grateful for those who prioritize the environment

President Joe Biden’s pause on oil drilling on public lands and waters was a step worth celebrating. We’re hopeful that step number two is even better. 

Last month, newspaper readers in Wilmington, Del., might have noticed this photo of an ocean scene and wondered why offshore drilling was popping up in their local paper. Environment America joined a broad coalition of groups — environmental organizations, Latino groups, youth climate activists, inland ocean enthusiasts, and more — in placing an ad in President Joe Biden’s home-state paper, the News Journal. 

We thanked the president for pausing all drilling on public lands, including those off our coasts. 

Here’s one of the ads:

For President Biden and other political figures, prioritizing America’s amazing public lands and coasts is an easy choice. Polls show that American voters value nature and want to protect the open spaces around us. And while the oil and gas industry is pushing back against the decision with intense pressure and demands, we know that a pause on ocean and public land drilling leases was the right thing to do for America’s wildlife, our communities and the planet’s climate. 

But it must only be the start. Part two should include the permanent protection of our public waters and lands, a key tool for meeting the administration’s goal of protecting 30 percent of America’s lands and waters by 2030. And while it likely doesn’t need to be said, we’re on board — on board with thinking long-term, valuing the health of the planet, and saying no to drilling, whether it be off our shores, just outside of Chaco Canyon, in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge or elsewhere. 

We send a big thank you to President Biden for taking the first necessary step. We’re grateful for his short-term pause on drilling on public lands. Next up, we’ll be working hard to ensure that step No. 2 is even more exciting — one that permanently protects America’s stunning, magical and ecologically important places. 

Top Photo: Pixabay 


Steve Blackledge

Senior Director, Conservation America Campaign, Environment America

Steve directs Environment America’s efforts to protect our public lands and waters and the species that depend on them. He led our successful campaign to win full and permanent funding for our nation’s best conservation and recreation program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund. He previously oversaw U.S. PIRG’s public health campaigns. Steve lives in Sacramento, California, with his family, where he enjoys biking and exploring Northern California.