In solidarity with the people of the democratic sovereign nation of Ukraine, more than 200 groups wrote to President Biden thanking him for halting oil imports from Russia. Furthermore, they urged the administration to continue to resist oil industry lobbyists from their attempts to lock in future fossil fuel exploitation and dependence. The key, they wrote, would be for the President to invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA) so he could accelerate a clean energy transition for energy independence and help the other countries wean themselves off of fossil fuels.
The DPA authorizes the president to require businesses to accept and prioritize contracts for materials deemed necessary for national defense, and allows the president to designate materials to be prohibited from price gouging and hoarding.
The DPA was recently used to ramp up production of needed essentials to combat COVID 19 and to fight wildfires caused by climate change. It was made the law of the land in 1950 to help during the Korean War and subsequently the Cold War.
Amidst the backdrop of the latest dire Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, the need to transition off of fossil fuels has never been more urgent. President Biden can deploy his executive powers to weaken the geopolitical power of fossil fuels, address the climate emergency, and prevent further mass suffering.
“Now the DPA could be used to accelerate the production of clean energy manufacturing that can cut Putin’s finances and help alleviate the climate crisis. The influence autocratic countries hold due to their oil and gas production must end,” said Alex Cornell du Houx, former Maine state Representative, Marine combat veteran, President of Elected Officials to Protect America and Co-Founder. The ICPP projects climate disasters will inevitably lead to more conflicts that benefit autocratic oil nations. A global clean energy economy will increase international security with healthier, more prosperous communities.”
EOPA was one of the signatories of the letter.
The impacts of the humanitarian tragedy in Ukraine are continuing to unfold and being felt not just in Europe where electricity, heating, and food costs are set to soar, but here in the U.S. and around the world as the price of oil and gas skyrockets. The American oil industry has a long, documented history of working extremely closely with autocrat Putin and state-run Russian oil companies. Now, the industry is trying to leverage the Ukraine crisis as an excuse to push for more drilling domestically while raising gas prices and protecting their profits.
An EOPA letter, which over 450 lawmakers signed, urges the President to go further than activating the DPA. It supports a clean energy plan and asks for a Presidential Climate Emergency Declaration under the National Emergencies Act. A declaration will communicate the urgency of the climate crisis and unlock specific statutory powers.
Since the passage of the National Emergencies Act in 1976, every president has used its emergency powers and declared at least one national emergency.
DECLARING A NATIONAL EMERGENCY WOULD ALLOW THE PRESIDENT TO:
“While Congress has stalled on key climate legislation, the climate crisis is at a critical nexus. We need action now. President Biden should use his executive powers to turn this emergency into an opportunity with our nation’s largest investment in a clean energy transition that would bring environmental justice to communities that have been neglected by systemic racism for far too long,” said Dominic Frongillo, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Elected Officials to Protect America, former Councilmember and Deputy Supervisor of Caroline, New York. “With the crisis unfolding in Ukraine, for the sake of humanity and peace, we need the president to evoke the Defense Production Act immediately. The opportunities of a global clean energy economy are boundless. A world at peace is a prosperous one.”
Many of the groups who signed the 200 strong letter are a part of the Build Back Fossil Free campaign, a growing movement of over 1,100 groups organizing for President Biden to use his executive authority to speed the end the era of fossil fuel production, protect communities from the climate emergency, and repair the harm caused by fossil fuels.
Please click HERE for the Elected Officials to Protect America letter.
Please click HERE for the 200 organization letter.
About Elected Officials to Protect America: Elected Officials to Protect America is a network of current and former elected officials who care deeply about protecting the planet and people. EOPA is committed to solving the climate crisis, ensuring environmental justice, and protecting our lands and waters. EOPA educates through value-based storytelling, training lawmakers, and connecting elected officials to inspire strong environmental leadership.
March 10, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Ramona du Houx,
Elected Officials to Protect America