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Tens of thousands of people rallied in New York on Sunday, urging U.S. President Joe Biden to end approvals for new oil and gas projects as world leaders are heading to New York to take part in a climate summit on Wednesday.
Leaders are gathering in New York for this week’s UN General Assembly and a separate Climate Ambition Summit at the UN headquarters.
The White House has said that President Biden does not plan to attend the Climate Ambition Summit on Wednesday.
The March to End Fossil Fuels on Sunday featured politicians including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who called on President Biden to stop all federal approvals for new fossil fuel projects, phase out the production of fossil fuels on public lands and waters, and declare a climate emergency.
The Biden Administration has recently canceled seven oil and gas leases for the Alaska Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The decision overturned ones made by the Trump Administration, which awarded the leases.
But the Biden administration approved a highly controversial project in Alaska in March this year, sparking the outrage of environmentalists after pledging to clip the wings of the U.S. oil and gas industry.
The Conoco oil project’s approval was challenged in court by two environmentalist groups on the grounds that it would exacerbate climate change but a federal judge dismissed it, saying the plaintiffs had failed to prove that Willow would cause irreparable harm.
With its latest move for Alaska, however, the federal government might win back some favor with the environmentalist lobby.
Last month, the Administration reduced the area to be offered in the next Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease sale by 9% to safeguard the habitat of a rare whale species, drawing criticism and resulting in a lawsuit from the American Petroleum Institute (API), U.S. supermajor Chevron, and the state of Louisiana.
While President Biden said during his election campaign that he would end new leasing on federal land and waters, his administration hasn’t taken such drastic measures amid skyrocketing fuel prices with the upended global oil flows following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.