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While Earthworks applauds President Obama for declaring climate change a priority in his second term, we were disappointed by his open-armed embrace of fossil fuel extraction. We are dismayed by his unwillingness to recognize the conflict between the two goals.

We are hopeful that we will be able to work with his administration to curb emissions from the oil and gas industry – the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in this country.

Tackling methane emissions from oil and natural gas drilling must be a cornerstone of the administration’s plans moving forward. Without a significant decrease in methane pollution, which IPCC tells us is over 70 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20 year time period, our planet will continue to warm. We will see yet more super storms, droughts, and wildfires. Families and our economy will suffer.

An “all of the above energy” plan cannot get us to our climate goals if that plan continues to favor greenhouse gas-intensive fossil fuels with multibillion dollar subsidies and special exemptions to environmental laws. We can wait no longer to advance sustainable, renewable energy over fossil fuel production. To try and drill our way out of the nation’s energy woes will only continue to harm the health of the planet and of communities in the 34 oil and gas producing states – and delay a real transition to a truly renewable energy economy.