FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 9, 2019

CONTACT:
Collin Rees, collin [at] priceofoil.org
Seth Gladstone, sgladstone [at] fwwatch.org
Ryan Schleeter, rschleet [at] greenpeace.org

200+ Groups Urge Senate to Oppose European Fossil Fuel Promotion Bill

Washington, DC — More than 200 groups sent a letter to U.S. senators today, urging them to oppose the European Energy Security and Diversification Act of 2019 (S. 704), a bill that would provide billions of dollars of support for natural gas infrastructure projects in Europe, further incentivizing fracking and fossil fuel development in the United States. The bill, passed by the House in March, has drawn criticism for locking both the United States and Europe into decades of continued fossil fuel dependence under the guise of national security.

The letter was organized by Center for Biological Diversity, Climate Hawks Vote, The Climate Mobilization, Food & Water Watch, Friends of the Earth US, Greenpeace USA, Oil Change U.S., Progressive Democrats of America, Public Citizen, Rainforest Action Network, Sunrise Movement, and 350.org.

The letter states, in part: “The only way to promote real energy security is to work together with Europe to rapidly end our shared reliance on fossil fuels. Our nation should be investing in renewable energy technology and energy efficiency, not setting aside tens of billions of dollars to support fracked-gas infrastructure projects that will keep Europe dependent on fossils.”

“This bill would undermine its own stated cause. Using fossil fuels for energy diplomacy increases global tensions and decreases our national security by pouring fuel on the fire of the climate crisis. Research clearly shows that existing fossil fuel development – including gas development – contains more carbon than the world can afford to burn,” said Collin Rees, Senior Campaigner at Oil Change U.S. “Any action that seeks to build out new, additional fossil fuel infrastructure flies in the face of what’s needed for a just transition. We must invest in the clean energy of the future, not in dirty fuels like gas that will directly crowd out these renewable sources and lock us into climate disaster.”

“At a moment when we should be leading the global mission to rapidly quit fossil fuels, the notion of seeking new and deeper fossil fuel codependence between America and Europe is patently absurd,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director at Food & Water Watch. “Climate science is clear: We must begin an aggressive global transition to clean, renewable energy now. For the Senate to promote the opposite would be a clear abdication of moral duty to current and future generations in this country and every country.”

“The only way to promote real energy security is to work with Europe to rapidly end reliance on fossil fuels,” said Nicole Ghio, Senior Program Manager at Friends of the Earth. “As communities around the world deal with the effects of climate change, America should be investing in renewable energy, not dirty fossil fuels.”

“Whatever the geopolitics, sending more deadly fossil fuels to Europe or any other part of the world is not the answer. Natural gas is fool’s gold and will inevitably lead to further destabilization of any region that relies upon it,” said Bill Snape, Senior Counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The future is with clean renewable energy and infrastructure. Any expenditure of taxpayer funds for fossil fuels is a colossal waste of money and a major lost opportunity.”

“Civilization is already breaking down in the face of rising climate disasters,” said Ezra Silk, Director of Strategy & Policy at The Climate Mobilization. “At the very least, we must immediately halt all new climate-damaging investments, including the expansion of natural gas infrastructure. This bill would bring us yet another step closer to runaway global warming and the collapse of civilization.”

“The time for climate make-believe is past,” said Russell Greene, Senior Strategic Adviser to the Progressive Democrats of America. “Let’s deal in truth. We are in a climate emergency and have no carbon budget left to burn.”

“The clean energy revolution is inevitable – across the globe, people are already powering their communities with wind and solar,” said Janet Redman, Climate Campaign Director at Greenpeace USA. “Foolishly investing billions of dollars in the oil and gas industry like this will only make the United States and our European allies fall behind in the race towards a clean energy economy. Instead of putting the fossil fuel industry on life support, it’s time to clear the way towards a green and prosperous future for all.”

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