On April 26, the League joined more than 100 people in Washington, DC standing in opposition to proposed leases in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.
The group gathered outside of a Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) meeting being held to receive public comment on its proposed 2017-2022 Oil and Gas Leasing plan. Reverend Lennox Yearwood (pictured above), president and CEO of the Hip Hop Caucus and advocate for human rights in the Gulf region, pumped the crowd up by leading chants: “Keep It … In The Ground!” “Climate … Justice!”
We were also joined by long-time Arctic champion, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) (above), who is working in Congress to stop all new leasing on federal lands, including no new offshore leases. Sen. Merkley pumped the crowd up some more: “We are going to work together for our future, the planet’s future, & our children’s future.”
Bernadette Demientieff, Alaska Native activist and acting executive director of the Gwich’in Steering Committee, gave a moving speech about why stopping offshore drilling is important to her and the future generations of Arctic Native communities: “We have to think about our climate and future generations…. We have to respect our Mother Earth.” A clip of her inspiring words can be found here.
“We have to think about our climate and our future generations” #keepitintheground pic.twitter.com/7qdCikhjrP
— Sierra Club Live (@SierraClubLive) April 26, 2016
Additional speakers included Michael Brune, Sierra Club’s executive director, and Besse Odem, the NAACP Youth Council vice president. Following the event, attendees headed into the meeting to submit comments of their own. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is continuing to solicit input about the five year leasing plan, with a comment deadline of June 16. You can find more information – and make your voice heard – below!
Tell President Obama to STOP any future drilling in the Arctic Ocean!
Find more info at: https://boemoceaninfo.com/