Legal Petition Urges Biden Administration to Block New Deep Water Ports for Oil, Gas Exports | Media Pyro


HOUSTON— The Center for Biological Diversity and 289 organizations filed a legal petition today with the Maritime Administration, or MARAD, an agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation, demanding that the Biden administration terminate the permits. of new seaport infrastructure for oil and gas transport.

Activists and community leaders launched the petition and held a rally at the MARAD office in Houston today, where more than 180 health professionals sent a letter calling for an end to the agreements. deep water port to protect public health.

At the COP27 climate conference in Egypt today, leaders of countries from the US Gulf Coast, Europe and Africa will hold a demonstration to show that the import and export of fossil fuels is a global disaster. for communities and climate.

“Exporting oil and gas will cause climate damage in the US and around the world,” said Lauren Parker, an attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity’s Climate Law Institute. “Biden needs to take science, law and his own climate goals seriously by keeping these harmful fossil fuel projects off our shores.”

The petition comes as MARAD considers whether to approve the offshore oil terminal (SPOT), which would be the largest onshore terminal outside the United States. He asked the department to stop approvals for projects like this because they are contrary to its “national interest” standard.

According to MARAD’s mandate under the Deepwater Port Act, new project permits must comply with national environmental laws and be in “the national interest and consistent with national security.” national and other national policies and objectives, including energy sufficiency and environmental quality.”

Issuing permits for new deepwater ports to import or export oil and liquid gas will not meet that industry standard. In addition to the climate crisis, new deepwater ports and their infrastructure are threatening ecosystems, coastal and marine waters. It also threatens the health of historic communities that have long been considered sacrificial sites for the fossil fuel industry.

“Where I live in Brazoria County, we’ve had bad air quality from fossil fuel pollution, which causes health problems,” said Melanie Oldham, president of Citizens Advice. for Clean Air and Water in Brazoria County, Texas. “Now they are planning to build not one but two oil export projects. This is not in the best interest of our community, and it is not in the best interest of the United States. These oil projects are unnecessary.”

Oil and gas exporters are defying Biden’s pledge at this week’s COP27 climate conference in Egypt to “resolve to eliminate all major sectors” and “lead the efforts of world to maintain the 1.5 degree target.”

Recent reports have shown that the world is on the verge of keeping to that high temperature threshold. No new fossil fuel development can begin now to sustain that goal.

Deepwater ports also harm Black, Indigenous and communities of color, including low-income communities. Onshore infrastructure that supports the import and export of oil and gas, such as pipelines and pipelines, is located in communities that are already overburdened by gas and water and have a negative impact on the health, including cancer, respiratory disease, and early death.

“Biden has an opportunity to show his commitment to environmental justice right now by rejecting the Bluewater Texas Terminal and similar projects,” said Elida Castillo, Chispa Texas campaign director. . “Our societies, economies and planet cannot sustain these programs for long enough to cause irreparable harm, only to the benefit of companies and their shareholders. Biden should order MARAD and all agencies to block further approvals for the fossil fuel program – and say there is a climate emergency to reinstate the ban on fossil fuel purchases before the deadline for us.

MARAD has six proposals for new deepwater port infrastructure. The legal petition cites the United States’ large role in fossil fuel production as the main reason it should deny such concessions, saying, “as the largest producer of oil and gas the rest of the world, the US must act quickly to stop warming if we want to truly avoid an apocalyptic climate catastrophe.”


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