Rep. Jared Huffman is out to Turn Biden’s Freeze on Fed-Land Fracking into a 'Permanent Moratorium' - EnviroNews | The Environmental News Specialists

Rep. Jared Huffman is out to Turn Biden’s Freeze on Fed-Land Fracking into a ‘Permanent Moratorium’

(EnviroNews California) — Bon Tempe Dam, Marin County, California — Taking a bold stand against new fossil fuel development on federal lands, Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA) said he wants to ban it for good. Those comments came during an exclusive on-camera sit-down interview with EnviroNews this spring.

Weeks later, on April 14, 2021, Huffman announced he’s co-sponsoring legislation with Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) – a bill that would halt new leases for fossil fuel extraction on public lands and waters. The reintroduction of the “Keep it in the Ground Act of 2021” was applauded by environmental groups.

Mining fossil fuels and fracking were major topics during the 2020 election. On the campaign trail and in debates, then-presidential candidate Joe Biden said he was “not going to ban fracking,” but in his final debate against President Trump in Nashville on October 22, 2020, Biden predicted an apocalyptic timeline for the environment:

Climate change, climate warming, global warming is an existential threat to humanity. We have a moral obligation to deal with it. And we’re told by all the leading scientists in the world that we don’t have much time. We’re going to pass the point of no return within the next eight to 10 years.

Just seven days after he took office, President Biden took sweeping action and asked his Interior Department (DOI) to pause new oil and natural gas leasing on public lands and offshore waters. This leasing shutdown does not affect existing operations or permits for existing leases, which are still being reviewed and approved. There are no such restrictions on energy exploration on private, state or Tribal lands, though in some states fracking has been banned.

Trump and Biden Spar over Climate Policy

Trump and Biden Chop it up on the Issue of Fracking

The Biden Administration later announced in a news release that it will review the federal oil and gas program to ensure that it serves in the public interest: “Irresponsible leasing of public lands and waters impacts communities’ access to clean air, clean water, and outdoor recreation; carves up important wildlife habitat; and threatens cultural and sacred sites.” The DOI added that fossil fuel extraction on public lands accounts for nearly a quarter of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Some Republican lawmakers and representatives from the oil and gas industries had sharp criticism for the temporary moratorium. Anne Bradbury, CEO of the American Exploration and Production Council (AXPC), said Biden’s executive orders are more symbolic and don’t promote real solutions to the global issue of climate change, saying, “Penalizing the oil and gas industry kills good-paying American jobs, hurts our already struggling economy, makes our country more reliant on foreign energy sources, and impacts those who rely on affordable and reliable energy.”

On March 26, 2021, in an exclusive sit-down interview with EnviroNews Editor-in-Chief Emerson Urry at Bon Tempe Dam in Marin County, CA, Rep. Huffman said he’s ready to take on the battle to freeze all new fossil fuel development on public lands.

The one-minute and fifty-one-second on-camera segment can be seen in the video player atop this story. The transcript reads as follows:

Emerson Urry: To get a little more granular with that, we’ve got roughly I’ve heard about 20 trillion dollars of oil and gas infrastructure we’re committed to in this country, and when the presidential campaign was going on, we heard in one debate, we heard President Biden say, “I am not going to ban fracking,” but we’ve got about “eight” years before it’s too late with the climate.

Rep. Jared Huffman: Yeah.

Urry: That sounds pretty intense. That sounds like we need a moonshot effort.

Huffman: Mm-hmm.

Urry: So, what do you think is in store there and how are we going to get that moonshot effort and what is it going to take to get industry and the country at large to start moving away from that 20 trillion dollars’ worth of infrastructure we’ve got there?

Huffman: So, let me see if I can unpack some of the pieces that are in that question. First of all, I don’t think people should read too terribly much into that “I’m not going to ban fracking” statement by President Biden because he also was clear and has since taken action that under his administration, we’re going to suspend all new oil and gas development — all new fossil fuel development — on public land. So, there’s always been an important distinction between what happens on public land; and a lot of the fracking is on private land. So, it is a whole different political kettle of fish to say: I’m going to go on to all the private land in the United States to ban fracking.

Urry: Right.

Huffman: But what he’s doing on public land is very, very important: an immediate freeze on all new fossil fuel development of any kind. I am going to work to try to extend that temporary freeze into a permanent moratorium. And that’s an important step toward our Keep it in the Ground goal. Just as you mentioned, we’ve got all of this fossil fuel out there that we cannot afford to develop if we’re going to hit our climate targets.


Rep. Jared Huffman Explains His Position Top-to-Bottom in the Battle to Manage CA’s Rare Tule Elk (EnviroNews in-Depth Exclusive)

(EnviroNews California) – Bon Tempe Dam, Marin County, California – Representative Jared Huffman (D-CA) has one of the highest environmental scorecards in Congress, a lifetime rating of 98 percent, and a perfect score on his 2020 voting record, according to the League of Conservation Voters. He has fought…

CA’s Rep. Jared Huffman Says Earth is in Midst of Sixth Mass Extinction: ‘We’ve really gotta listen to these scientists’

(EnviroNews California) – Bon Tempe Dam, Marin County, California – In 2020, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) – one of the world’s most prominent wildlife advocacy organizations – released an analysis that left many people stunned: Earth lost 68 percent of all wildlife on the planet in just 50…

Why This CA Rep. is the Lead Defender of ANWR in Congress, While AK’s Leaders Want it Drilled for Oil

(EnviroNews California) – Bon Tempe Dam, Marin County, California – In an exclusive sit-down interview with EnviroNews, Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) said that with the ushering in of the Biden Administration, he’s hopeful the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR/the Refuge) may finally get the federal safeguards he believes…

Trump Tried to Rip off N. Spotted Owl of 3.4M Acres of Habitat; Rep. Huffman, Haaland, Dem Lawmakers Say No Way

(EnviroNews California) – Bon Tempe Dam, Marin County, California – At the end of former President Trump’s only term in office, his administration worked to dismantle the Endangered Species Act (ESA/the Act) on several fronts. One of those rollbacks changed the rules and allowed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife…

Did You Know There is a ‘God Squad’ That Can Overrule the ESA and Allow Any Species to Go Extinct? Rep. Jared Huffman Explains

(EnviroNews California) – Bon Tempe Dam, Marin County, California – What do snail darters, whooping cranes, and the iconic northern spotted owl have in common? They all had close calls with the so-called “God Squad.” The God Squad? The group’s existence and power even surprised EnviroNews Editor-in-Chief Emerson Urry when Representative Jared Huffman…

Reps. Huffman, Grijalva, Try to Glue Endangered Species Act Back Together After Trump Ripped it to Shreds

(EnviroNews California) – Bon Tempe Dam, Marin County, California – Restoring all the protections for wildlife under the Endangered Species Act (ESA/the Act) that the Trump Administration dismantled might be like trying to glue a broken mirror back together. The looming question: can it be done? It’s a…

Rep. Jared Huffman, Green New Deal Co-Sponsor: ‘If you don’t like this big, ambitious, equitable answer to the climate crisis, what’s your answer?’

(EnviroNews California) – Bon Tempe Dam, Marin County, California – Rising temperatures, devastating droughts, terrifying wildfires, warming oceans and melting polar ice caps: scientists warn it’s hard to ignore the signs the planet is changing, and climate disruption caused by humans is the culprit. It’s a topic EnviroNews…

Rep. Jared Huffman is out to Turn Biden’s Freeze on Fed-Land Fracking into a ‘Permanent Moratorium’

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  • Emerson Urry - Producer, Journalist, Transcript, Interviewer, Video Editor, Sound Editor, 3D Animator, Colorist
  • Mary Schwager - Research Journalist, Author
  • Ian Burbage - C Camera Operator, Assistant Director of Photography, Gaffer
  • Dakota Otero - Director of Photography, A Camera Operator, B Camera Operator, Assistant Producer