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Building Momentum

Partnering With Communities to Stop New Oil and Gas Infrastructure

The oil and gas industry is counting on massive new infrastructure projects to lock in fossil fuels for decades. These new projects threaten human health, local ecosystems, and any hope we have of averting climate catastrophe.

Because of Texas community organizing against the proposed GulfLink and Sea Port Oil Terminal export facilities, the Maritime Administration and the Coast Guard admitted their community outreach had been insufficient and reopened comments on draft environmental impact statements.

RISE St. James Louisiana protest

In Louisiana, Black communities are leading the fight against Formosa’s proposed $9.4 billion plastics complex. Together with allies we exposed Formosa’s long record of environmental and human rights offenses. In August the Biden administration announced it would require a full Environmental Impact Statement.

By the Numbers:

More of what you made possible in 2021

  • 33 field investigations using optical gas imaging
  • 736 oil and gas sites across 9 states 135 regulatory complaints filed
  • 20 mining projects opposed in U.S. and internationally
  • 6 fossil fuel and petrochemical infrastructure projects in the Gulf Coast delayed
  • 7 regional workshops on tailings mine waste safety across North and South America, Africa, Europe, and Southeast Asia
  • 363 media stories featured Earthworks and/or our grassroots partners
  • 170 organizations globally endorsed the Declaration on Mining and the Energy Transition
  • $243,563 given in direct financial support to a total of 15 grassroots partners

Winning Tougher Oil and Gas Pollution Standards at the Federal and State Level

Our calls on Congress and the Biden administration paid off when Congress passed legislation restoring the Obama era methane pollution standards. President Biden committed to even tougher emission limits and signed the Global Methane Pledge at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26). The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act included billions of dollars for cleaning up orphaned oil and gas wells and abandoned mines.

After Earthworks’ optical gas imaging cameras gave high-ranking state officials an up-close look at methane spewing from oil and gas sites, New Mexico adopted a new rule to limit venting and flaring, while a new Colorado law aims to reduce oil and gas pollution by 60% by 2030.

Making Clean Energy Clean

Earthworks published new research showing that even with ambitious climate goals, we can source more than half of the minerals needed for clean energy through recycling and recirculation. We are shaping the public conversation about responsibly sourcing minerals for the clean energy economy. The Biden administration issued an Executive Order on resilient supply chains that endorsed much of Earthworks’ reform agenda. Earthworks was quoted on mining and the energy transition by dozens of leading publications, including the Los Angeles Times, Reuters, National Geographic, and The Guardian.

Stopping Mining Where it Doesn’t Belong

The EPA announced it will pursue permanent federal protections for Alaska’s Bristol Bay.

In Montana, a pair of court victories helped protect the spectacular Cabinet Mountains Wilderness from the Rock Creek and Montanore mining proposals.

Cabinet Mountains Landscape

In Idaho, the U.S. Forest Service announced it will conduct further review of the proposed Stibnite open-pit cyanide leach gold mine in the headwaters of the Salmon River.

The Indonesian government pledged not to permit mining that dumps waste into the ocean, stopping nickel projects that would have dumped 31 million metric tonnes of waste into the biodiverse Coral Triangle.

And in Washington, DC, the Biden administration committed itself to reforming the archaic 1872 Mining Law, something Earthworks has been pushing for 34 years and which is gathering powerful momentum in 2022.