Last year, President Biden signed the most important piece of climate legislation in US history, the Inflation Reduction Act. Already the IRA has led to billions of dollars of investment in clean energy infrastructure and the creation of thousands of green jobs.
But it also has its weaknesses. The IRA doesn't limit production, transport, or processing of either oil or gas. Since 2011 the US has been the world's largest producer of gas, and in 2018 we became the largest producer of oil. That means we produce more oil than Saudi Arabia and more gas than Russia. We make 20 percent of the world's oil compared to 12 percent from Saudi Arabia, and 24 percent of the world's gas compared to 18 percent from Russia.
We cannot keep moving in this direction. According to research from the International Energy Agency, we must reduce oil and gas production by more than 70 percent worldwide by 2050 to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement.
The March to End Fossil Fuels on September 17 will demand President Biden take immediate action. Namely to:
- Stop all federal approvals for fossil fuel projects
- Phase out drilling on public lands
- Declare a climate emergency to halt oil exports and investments on fossil fuel projects throughout the world