Interior Department Secretary Jumps Into Fossil Fuel Debate
"President Barack Obama's Interior secretary had some sharp words for the 'keep it in the ground' movement," reports Sammy Roth.
As covered by Irvin Dawid for Planetizen in November, the "Keep it in the ground movement," is supported by environmentalists and legitimized by legislation from Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) that goes by the same name. "The "Keep it in the Ground Act" would prevent new drilling for any fossil fuel on federal lands or renewal of nonproductive leases," explains Dawid.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, however, told an unnamed reporter for the Desert Sun that the environmental movement was moving too quickly beyond the realities of the present day. Roth quotes Jewell directly:
It's going to take a very long time before we can wean ourselves from fossil fuels, so I think that to keep it in the ground is naïve, to say we could shift to 100 percent renewables is naïve….We really have to have a blend over time, and a transition over time, that recognizes the real complexity of what we're dealing with.
Roth shares multiple viewpoints that counter the statement of Secretary Jewell, as well as surveying the recent actions of protest and legislation that have forced the debate on the issues of fossil fuels.