December 15, 2020

President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. Biden-Harris Transition Team 1401 Constitution Ave NW Washington, DC 20001

Re: Day one promise to ban new federal fossil fuel leasing and permitting on public lands and waters

Dear President-elect Biden,

Congratulations on winning the presidential election and thank you for your slate of promised executive actions to help transition away from fossil fuels and avoid associated harm to people and the environment.

Toward that end, the 574 undersigned organizations, on behalf of our many millions of members, urge you to issue the following Executive Order to enact your “day one” commitment, with no state exceptions, to ban new federal oil and gas leasing and permitting    on public lands and waters:


By the authority vested in me as the President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy.

Climate change represents an existential threat to the United States and the planet. The climate crisis is already causing devastating impacts from more destructive hurricanes and wildfires, rising seas, increasing heatwaves, droughts, and floods, imperiling food and water security, and causing the collapse of ecosystems. The overwhelming scientific consensus has definitively concluded that without deep and rapid emissions reductions, warming will exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius and will result in catastrophic damage around the world. Every fraction of additional warming above 1.5 degrees Celsius will worsen these harms, threatening lives, health and safety, livelihoods, the economy, and national security for this and future generations.

Global emissions must be reduced by half over the next decade to limit warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius. Accordingly, it is in the national interest for the United States, based on our cumulative emissions and respective capabilities, to lead the way by reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 70 percent by 2030 and to near zero by 2040.

Because fossil fuels are responsible for 75 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions and over 90 percent of carbon dioxide emissions, it is the policy of the Biden administration to immediately cease the expansion of fossil fuel development and implement a managed decline of fossil fuel extraction on public lands and waters.

Sec. 2. Banning Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing and Permitting.

Under the authority granted in section 12(a) of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, 43

U.S.C. 1341(a), I hereby permanently withdraw from disposition by leasing all unleased portions of the Outer Continental Shelf. This withdrawal prevents consideration of these areas for any future oil or gas leasing for purposes of exploration, development, or production.

The Secretary of the Interior shall immediately revise the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program in a manner that halts new offshore oil and gas lease sales and provides a determination that national energy needs require a prompt transition away from fossil fuels. Within 90 days, the Secretary of the Interior shall prepare a plan to phase out oil and gas activities on the Outer Continental Shelf, including a ban on drilling new wells.

Sec. 3. Banning Onshore Leasing and Permitting of Oil, Gas, and Coal.

Effective immediately, no new nominations for fossil fuel leases shall be processed, nor lease sales conducted on any public lands, for any fossil fuel — including oil, gas, or coal — until the programmatic review described below is completed. For pending nominations, no lease sales will be held, leases issued or re-issued or extended, or modifications approved, prior to completion of the programmatic review. Pending the review, no permits shall be issued for development, including but not limited to permits to drill new wells.

Within 30 days of this Order, the Secretary of the Interior and Secretary of Agriculture shall direct the Bureau of Land Management, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and U.S. Forest Service to commence a programmatic review of all fossil fuel leasing, permitting, and development subject to its jurisdiction, including federal fossil fuels underlying lands subject to surface management by other agencies and non-federal entities.

The programmatic review shall (1) determine the compatibility of leasing, permitting, extraction and combustion of fossil fuels from public lands and waters with meeting the    United States’ goal of limiting climate change to 1.5 degrees Celsius, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent by 2030 and to near zero by 2040; (2) evaluate the cumulative greenhouse gas emissions impacts of all federal onshore fossil fuel activities; (3) assess all reasonable alternatives for how the federal fossil fuel program can contribute to a prompt transition away from the production, use, and export of fossil fuels; and (4) review all agency actions, plans, programs, policies, and regulations that affect the leasing, production, and use of domestically produced fossil fuels, including coal, oil, gas, tar sands, and oil shale.

No leasing, permitting, or development of fossil fuel approvals may occur on public lands or waters unless the Secretary completes the programmatic review and determines that any such activity would be consistent with reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030 and to near zero by 2040 and with limiting climate change to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Sec. 4. Cancellation of Improperly Issued Leases.

The Attorney General and Secretary of the Interior shall begin a comprehensive review of companies involved in fossil fuel leasing, permitting, and development on public lands and waters. They shall immediately initiate a review of the lawfulness of existing leases and shall identify and investigate all instances of fraud or misrepresentation that may have occurred during or prior to the leasing, permitting, or development of fossil fuel resources on public lands or waters and whether any company engaged in efforts to conceal, deny, or misrepresent climate science or the risks and harm from fossil fuels extraction.

The Secretary of the Interior shall immediately begin the process to cancel any such leases or permits obtained through fraud, misrepresentation, or that were otherwise improperly issued. The Attorney General and Secretary of the Interior should pursue any and all available remedies to the federal government including suspension and debarment, administrative penalties, civil penalties, or criminal penalties to ensure that all harms and impacts are fully redressed.

Sec. 5. General Provisions.

 This order shall not be interpreted to supersede or diminish any environmental safeguards offered under other statutes, including any prior leasing withdrawals. Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof. This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Thank you for your climate leadership, and congratulations again for your victory in the 2020 presidential election.


Convening organizations:

Center for Biological Diversity Azul
Central California Environmental Justice Network
Climate Justice Alliance
Cook Inletkeeper Data for Progress Diné
Eyak Preservation Council
Food & Water Watch
Friends of the Earth
Greenpeace USA
Indigenous Environmental Network
Labor Network for Sustainability
Louisiana Bucket Brigade
Native Conservancy
Oil Change International
Rainforest Action Network
Sierra Club
Waterkeeper Alliance
Western Environmental Law Center
Western Watersheds Project
WildEarth Guardians
Wishtoyo Foundation 350

Supporting Organizations:

Action Center on Race and the Economy
Action Collaborative for the Transforming Spirit Now (ACTS Now)
Advocates for the West
Alabama Interfaith
Power & Light Algalita
Marine Research & Education
Allamakee County Protectors – Education Campaign
Alliance for Climate Education (ACE)
Already Devlaued and Devastated Homeowners of Parsippany
Altamaha Coastkeeper
Amazon Watch
Animal Welfare Institute
Animals Are Sentient Beings, Inc.
Animas Valley Institute
Atchafalaya Basinkeeper
Athens County’s Future Action Network,
Aytzim: Ecological Judaism
Baltimore, MD Phil Berrigan Memorial
Chapter Veterans For Peace
Beloved Earth Community, Riverside Church, New York, NY
Berks Gas Truth
Better Path Coalition
Beyond Extreme Energy
Biodiversity for a Livable Climate
Black Warrior Riverkeeper
Bold Alliance
Breast Cancer Action
Breathe Project
Bronx Climate Justice
North Bucks County Audubon Society
Bucks County Concerned Citizens Against the Pipelines
Bucks Environmental Action
Buffalo Field Campaign
Cahaba Riverkeeper
California Indian Environmental Alliance
Californians for Western Wilderness
Call To Action Colorado
Campaign for Renewal Energy
Care About Climate
Carolina Biodiesel, LLC
Cascadia Wildlands
Catholic Network US
Catskill Mountainkeeper
Cayuga Lake Watershed Network
CCC – First Reformed Church of Schenectady
Center for a Competitive Waste Industry
Center for Climate Integrity
Center for Coalfield Justice
Center for Ecological Living and Learning (CELL)
Center for International Environmental
Law Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment
Central California Asthma Coalition
Central Colorado Wilderness Coalition
Change Begins With ME (Indivisible)
Charles River Watershed Association
Choctawhatchee Riverkeeper
Christian Council of Delmarva
Christians For The Mountains
Church Women United in New York State
Citizens Committee to Complete the Refuge
Citizens for a Healthy Community
Ciudadanos Del Karso
Clean Air Carolina
Clean Energy Action – Colorado
Clean Ocean Action
Cleveland Owns
Climate Action Now Western Mass.
Climate Defense Project
Climate Hawks Vote
Climate Justice Alliance
Climate Reality
Climate Xchange
Coachelle Valley Waterkeeper Coalition Against Nukes
Coalition for Outreach, Policy, and Education
Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life
Coalition to Protect America’s National Parks
Coalition Against Pilgrim Pipeline NJ
Coastal Plains Institute
Collaborative Center for Justice
Colorado Businesses for a Livable Climate
Columbia Gorge Climate Action Network
Communities for a Better Environment
Community Church of New York
Community Health
Concern Citizens of Northampton County
Concerned Health Professionals of New York
Conservation Council For Hawaii
Cooperative Energy Futures
Corporate Ethics International
Corvallis Interfaith
Climate Justice Committee
Cottonwood Environmental Law Center
Council of Churches for the State of Deleware
Council of Churches of the Eastern Shore
Crockett-Rodeo United to Defend the Environment
Dallas Sierra Club
Dayenu: A Jewish Call to Climate Action
DC Environmental Network
Delaware Riverkeeper Network
Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team
Divest LA
Dogwood Alliance
Don’t Gas the Meadowlands Coalition
Don’t Waste Arizona
Down to Earth Storytelling
Earth Action, Inc
Earth Day Initiative
Earth Ethics, Inc.
Earth Ministry/Washington Interfaith Power & Light
Earthworks ec0mission
Echotopia LLC
Ecoaction Committee of the Green Party of the U.S.
Eco-Logic of WBAI-FM
Ecosocialist Working Group of the Democratic Socialists of America
Education, Economics, Environmental, Climate and Health Organization (EEECHO)
Elders Climate Action
Elders Climate Action
Elders Rising
Elmirans & Friends Against Fracking Embrace Impatience Associates and Lichtenstein Consulting
Endangered Habitats League
Endangered Species Coalition
Energy Smart Colorado
Environmental Action Committee of West Marin
Environmental Protection Information Center
Fairbanks Climate Action Coalition
Faith in Place Action Fund/IL Interfaith Power & Light
Faithful America
FCCPR, Franklin Co Continuing the Political Revolution
Feminists in Action Los Angeles
Feminists of Speech
Fire Drill Fridays
First Wednesdays San Leandro
Flight Free USA
FOGH (Friends of Grays Harbor)
Foundation Earth
Frac Sand Sentinel: Project Outreach
FracTracker Alliance
Franciscan Action Network
Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution
FreshWater Accountability Project
Friends of Casco Bay
Friends of Merrymeeting Bay
Friends of the Bitterroot
Friends of the Inyo
Fuerza Mundial – Continuum
Fund for Democratic Communities
FXB Climate Advocates
Gas Free Seneca
Genesis Farm
Georgia Conservation Voters
Georgia STAND-UP
Global Warming Education Network (GWEN)
Global Witness
Golden Egg Permaculture
Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
Gray Panthers NYC
Grays Harbor Audubon Society
Great Basin Resoruce Watch
Great Egg Harbor Watershed Association
Great Old Broads for Wilderness
Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility
Greater Brunswick PeaceWorks
Green Amendments For The Generations
Green America
Green Education and Legal Fund
Green New Deal Virginia
Green River Action Network
Green The Church
GreenFaith Bergen Circle
GreenRoots, Inc
Guernsey County Citizens Support on Drilling Issues
Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy
Haiti Cholera Research Funding Foundation Inc USA
Hands Across the Sand
Hawai’i Institute for Human Rights
Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah (HEAL Utah)
Healthy Gulf
HealthyPlanet Heartwood
Heirs To Our Oceans
High Country Conservation Advocates
Hilton Head for Peace
Honeydew Advisors
Howling For Wolves
Humboldt Baykeeper
In the Shadow of the Wolf
Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition
Indigenous Environmental Network
Indivisible San Jose
Information Network for Responsible Mining
Inland Empire Waterkeeper
Inland Ocean Coalition
Inspiration of Sedona
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Institute for Policy Studies Climate Policy Program
Interfaith Earthkeepers
Interfaith Worker Justice of East Tennessee
International Association of World Peace Advocates
International Marine Mammal Project of Earth
Island Institute
It Is Time
Jewish Climate Action Network-MA
Jews of the Earth, a project of Aytzim
John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute
Kentucky Conservation Committee
Kickapoo Peace Circle
Klamath Forest Alliance
Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center
Lady Freethinker
Laguna Acoma Coalition For A Safe Environment
Lakota People’s Law Project
LaPlaca and Associates LLC
Living Rivers – Colorado Riverkeeper
Living Rivers & Colorado Riverkeeper
Local Clean Energy Alliance
Long Beach Alliance for Clean Energy
Los Angeles Waterkeeper
Los Padres ForestWatch
Louisiana Rise
Love Wild Horses
Lynn Canal Conservation
Make It Work Nevada
Make The Road Nevada
Malach Consulting
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Maryland Ornithological Society
Mass. Peace Action
Massachusetts Forest Watch
Matanzas Riverkeeper
Mazaska Talks
Media & Communication Action Project
Mid-Missouri Peaceworks
Milwaukee Riverkeeper
Mining Impact Coalition of Wisconsin
Mission Blue
Mission Blue / Sylvia Earle Alliance
Montana Environmental Information Center
Mothers Out Front
Mountain Progressives Frazier Park CA
Movement for a People’s Party
Mtn. Progressives
MUUSJA – MN Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance
NANOMASS Corporation National Family Farm Coalition
Native Plant Conservation Campaign
NC Alliance to Protect the People and the Places We Live (APPPL)
NC Climate Justice Collective
NC Climate Solutions Coalition
NC Interfaith Power & Light
NC Poor People’s Campaign, Ecological Devastation Committee
New Energy Economy
New Hampshire Safe Water Alliance
New Mexico Environmental Law Center
New York Communities for Change
New York Theological Seminary
NH Audubon
No Coal In Oakland
No Fracked Gas in Mass
No Sharon Gas Pipeline | Clean energy Now
Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson
North Bronx Racial Justice
North Carolina Council of Churches
North Country 350 Alliance
North Country NYPAN
Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT)
Northern Alaska Environmental Center
Northern Arizona Climate Change Alliance
Northern Jaguar Project
Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance
Norwalk River Watershed Assocation
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation|
Nuclear Information and Resource Service (for a nuclear-free, carbon-free world – no uranium mining or fossil fuels)
NYC Safe Energy Campaign
NYCD16 – Indivisible Environment Committee
Oasis Earth
Occidental Arts and Ecology Center
Ocean Conservation Research
Oceanic Preservation Society
Ogeechee Riverkeeper
Operation HomeCare, Inc.
Orange County Coastkeeper
Organic Consumers Association
Organized Uplifting Resources and Strategies
Our Santa Fe River
OVEC-Ohio Valley Environmental
Coalition Pace Energy and Climate Center
Pacific Environment
Paradise Las Vegas Indivisible
Partnership for Policy Integrity
Partnership for Southern Equity
Partnership for Working Families
PAUSE – People of Albany United for Safe Energy
Peace and Freedom Party, socialist, on the California ballot
Peak Plastic Foundation
Pearl Riverkeeper Pelican Media
People Power Solar Cooperative
People’s Action
Peoples Climate Movement-NY
People’s Justice Council
People’s Solar Energy Fund
Physicians for Social Responsibility
Physicians for Social Responsibility Maine Chapter
Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania
Physicians for Social Responsibility, Arizona
Physicians for Social Responsibility/Florida
Pivot Point
Plastic Pollution Coalition
Plymouth Friends for Clean Water
PNM Shareholders for a Responsible Future
Portland Raging Grannies
Post Growth Institute
Preserve Giles County
Preserve Monroe
Preserve Montgomery County VA
Proactive Persistent People for Progress
Progressive Democrats of America
Progressive Democrats of America, Tucson, AZ Chapter
Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada
Project Coyote
Protect Our Water Arizona (
Protect Our Water Heritage Rights
PSR Arizona PSR Kansas City
Public Citizen
Public Lands
Project Rachel Carson Council
Rapid Shift Network
Raptors Are The Solution
Raritan Headwaters
RE Sources
Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association
RedTailed Hawk Collective
Redwood Alliance
Renewable Energy Long Island
Republicans for Integrity
Resource Generation
Resource Renewal Institute
RESTORE: The North Woods
Rio Arriba Concerned Citizens
River Guardian Foundation
Riverdale Jewish Earth Alliance
Romero Institute
Samuel Lawrence Foudation
San Antonio Bay Estuarine Waterkeeper
San Bernardino Valley Audubon
Society San Diego Coastkeeper
San Francisco Bay Physicians for Social Responsibility
San Francisco Baykeeper
San Juan Citizens Alliance
San Luis Valley Ecosystem Council
Santa Barbara Standing Rock Coalition
Santa Barbara Urban Creeks Council
Save Nevada’s Water:Ban Fracking In Nevada
Save Our Illinois Land
Save Our Shores
Save The Colorado
Save Wolves Now Network Schaghticoke First Nations Inc.
Seacoast Science Center
Seeding Sovereignty
Self-Reliance Corporation
Seneca Lake Guardian
Sequoia ForestKeeper®
Seven Circles Foundation
Sierra Club – South Dakota Chapter
Sierra Club Green Country Group
Sierra CPR
Signal Fire
Sisters of Charity Federation
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas Justice Team
Sisters of St. Dominic of Blauvelt, New York
Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia
Sisters of ST. Joseph of Rochester
SoCal 350 Climate Action
Social Eco Education (SEE-LA)
Social Justice Commission (Episcopal Diocese of Western Mass.)
Solar Wind Works
Solarize Albany
Service Solstice Initiative
South Asian Fund For Education,Scholarship and Training(SAFEST)
South Florida Wildlands Association
South San Juan Broadband, Great Old Broads for Wilderness
South Ward Environmental Alliance
Southeast Climate and Energy Network
Southern Echo Inc.
Southwest Native Cultures
Spottswoode Winery, Inc.
St. Johns Riverkeeper
Stop the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion
Sullivan Alliance for Sustainable Development
Sunflower Alliance Sungage Financial LLC
Sunrise Movement Bay Area
Sunrise Movement Dallas
Sunrise Movement Knoxville
Sunrise Movement Las Vegas Hub
Sunrise Movement Marin Hub
Sunrise Movement, Fairview High School
Surfrider Foundation
Surfrider Foundation, Maine Chapter
Susanne Moser Research and Consulting Sustainable Arizona
Syracuse Cultural Workers
Tampa Bay Waterkeeper
Tennessee Riverkeeper
Texas Campaign for the Environment
Texas Legal Services Center
The Alaska Center
The Banner
The Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education (COARE)
The CLEO Institute The Climate Center
The Climate Mobilization
The Climate Mobilization – Colorado The Enviro Show
The Forest Foundation, Inc.
The Grassroots Coalition
The Lands Council
The Last Plastic Straw
The Lilies Project
The Nature and Psyche Project
The Oakland Institute
The Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition
The People’s Justice Council
The Protect Our Communities Foundation
The Rewilding Institute
The River Project
The Story of Stuff Project
The Wei LLC
Three Parks Independent Democrats
Time Laboratory
To Nizhoni Ani
Toxics INformation Project (TIP)
Transition Sebastopol
Tricounty NY Transition
Tualatin Riverkeepers
Tucson Climate Action Network
Turtle Island Restoration Network
Unexpected Wildlife Refuge
Union for Reform Judaism
Unitarian Universalist Association
Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth
United Confederation of Taíno People
United for Action
United University Professions
Upper Colorado River Watershed Group (UCRWG)
Upper Green River Alliance
Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition
Upper West Side Recycling
Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment
UU Congregation of Binghamton, Green Sanctuary
Vale Energy Services LLC
Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance
Volusia Climate Action
Vote-Climate Wall of Women
Wasatch Clean Air Coalition
Washington Environmental Council member
Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility
Waterkeepers Chesapeake
Weber Sustainability Consulting
Wellstone Democratic Renewal Club
Wendell state forest alliance
WESPAC Foundation, Inc.
West 80s Neighborhood Association
West Berkeley Alliance For Clean Air and Safe Jobs
West Dryden Residents Against the Pipeline
West Shore FaCT – Faith Communities Together for a Sustainable Future
Western Nebraska Resources Council
Wild Connections
Wild Nature Institute
Wilderness Workshop
Women Working for Oceans – W2O
Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN)
Women’s March Santa Barbara
Yes. Solar Justice Institue
Youth Vs Apocalypse
Zero Hour
1000 Grandmothers for Future Generations 198 methods
350 Bay Area
350 Bay Area Action
350 Butte County
350 Chicago
350 Corvallis
350 Everet
350 Humboldt
350 Marin
350 Mass Metro North Node
350 Massachusetts for a Better Future 350 New Orleans
350 Pensacola
350 Sacramento
350 Santa Barbara
350 Seattle
350 Silicon Valley
350 Triangle