In response to the Biden administration’s plan to expand domestic oil production and invoke the Defense Production Act to increase mineral mining, Chelsea Hodgkins, climate policy advisor for Oxfam America, said:
“At a time when fossil fuel companies are taking advantage of the crisis in Ukraine to rake in excess profits, the White House shouldn't give in further to oil and gas companies or encourage them to lock in future emissions that propel us toward climate catastrophe.
“Instead of prolonging fossil fuel companies' stranglehold on our economics, our politics, and our climate, President Biden needs to take action aligned with US commitments to address the climate crisis and keep warming below 1.5°C. This must include phasing out fossil fuels and Congressional action to eliminate the subsidies and tax giveaways that incentivize fossil fuel production and disproportionately harm Black, brown, Indigenous, and low-income communities.
“We also share concerns expressed by other allied organizations regarding the administration's use of the Defense Production Act to expand mining for battery minerals — that it may undermine the wellbeing of Indigenous peoples and communities living close to extraction sites given the current lack of effective federal safeguards to protect clean water, air quality, public lands. The administration should prioritize sustainable sourcing strategies that reduce the need to expand mining.
“As one of the largest emitters of carbon pollution, the US has an obligation to the global community to lead the effort away from fossil fuels and towards a clean and just energy future, with solutions rooted in frontline leadership and aligned with international human rights standards.”