Powerful Video Contrasts Obama Climate Speech with Expanded Coal Leases on Public Lands

Greenpeace US released this powerful video today, contrasting the laudable statements that President Obama made during his climate change address in June with his administration's efforts to greatly increase the amount of public lands leased for coal mining.


Next week, the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management (BLMintends to auction off a parcel called Maysdorf II, which will see 148 million tons of publicly owned coal sold at bargain basement prices and exported overseas to Chinese power plants. Next month, BLM has also scheduled an auction for the Haycreek II lease of another 167 million tons of taxpayer-subsidized coal from the Powder River Basin.

For U.S. taxpayers, this coal bounty could sell for a paltry $1.10 per ton, if the recent North Porcupine lease awarded to Peabody Coal is any indication. 

Not only is the U.S. taxpayer getting fleeced by the coal industry in these leases, but the BLM's reckless auctioning off of public lands for further fossil fuel extraction greatly undermines, and cheapens in my view, the President's stated commitment to address climate change in the waning days of his second term.  

Greenpeace and a coalition of 20 other public interest organizations are calling on newly minted Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, to cancel the leases in order to demonstrate her department's commitment to honoring the president's climate action plan.

Over 135,000 people have petitioned Secretary Jewell calling for a moratorium on Powder River Basin coal leases and a comprehensive review of the federal coal leasing program.  

“It doesn’t take an MBA to know that giving our coal away for pennies on the dollar so coal companies can torch our planet is a bad deal,” said Josh Nelson, CREDO Action campaign manager. “But now that we have a successful CEO leading Interior, we hope that the Obama administration will finally put an end to this unmitigated environmental disaster and taxpayer rip-off.”


Just the facts Jack: The oceans are turning into acid 10 times faster than when 95% of life on earth died off 250 million years ago due to ocean acidification. The oceans will have TWICE the acid in just 40 years. This will kill almost everything. Slowly burning all ocean life to surefire extinction. When the planet’s ocean circulation stops bring oxygen down and food up well over half of earth’s life will vanish. When ice ages come and go, the earth can change temperature as high as 5°C in as quick as 5,000 years. We are going to slam dunk earth’s temperature 5°C in 50-100 years which is 50 times faster than climate ever has. Never mind rising tides and methane bombs, they’re too slow. By 2025, humans will impact 50% of earth’s biosphere, this will cause a breakdown of earth’s ecological planetary balance leading to a mass extinction event. When this process starts it is unstoppable and irreversible. There are no “green” cars because they all drive on roads made from the tar of oil refinery waste. Solar and wind will not be able to withstand the new age superstorms to come. There is no going back. We are going to have to adopt James Hansen’s 4th generation nuclear reactors to help clean up nuclear waste to power a low-emissions high-energy source that is secure in the face of a hostile environment. We could generate a new world e-currency basing its value inversely to carbon gas even if the oceans off gas hydrogen sulfide and the skies all turn green. I think hardened cities will will develop, but only if we are very lucky. Now imagine you see your progeny many, many years in the future after you are dead and they can’t see and hear you, but you can hear and see them. Now imagine doing nothing before you die.