Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) once again stood up for the American people and our environment this week by taking on the greedy land-grabbing of oil companies during a congressional hearing.
There is currently a pause on new drilling leases, which exploded under Donald Trump as he gave away public lands to oil companies every chance he got despite the risk posed to our planet and our own health. Even land that has been set aside for the public to enjoy, including National Parks and conservation lands, is being given away for exploitative purposes that ruin it for future generations all in the pursuit of a finite resource.
Not one to shy away from grilling oil executives and exposing their greed, Porter pointed out the absurdity of how much land oil companies have already leased in this country.
“How many acres of public land are already leased by fossil fuel companies and not even used yet?” she asked. “Just available for drilling whenever you decide?”
“I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding as to how this process works and the time and resources—,” an executive said before Porter cut him off.
“Reclaiming my time, the answer is 13.9 million acres. To visualize how much land that is, if each grain of rice were one acre, that would be 479 pounds of rice,” Porter noted before literally giving Americans a visual aid of 479 pounds of rice in her car.
When Porter asked if the oil execs support the pause on leases, none of them said they supported it, a very unsurprising answer.
Indeed, the oil executives actually want MORE public lands so they can destroy them for profit, and they are apparently getting it really cheap as Porter demonstrated.
“You already have 13.9 million acres!” Porter said. “This is equivalent to Maryland and New Jersey combined. How much more do you need? How much more acreage? You have two of our 50 states at a price that makes the Louisiana Purchase look like a ripoff, and you’re not even using it. What more do you need? Iowa? Colorado? Virginia? Our public land belongs to the American people, not to Big Oil. When you lobby and you sue so that you can take more of our public land, you’re saying too much is never enough. The American people are tired of this charade.”
Here’s the video via Twitter:
Fossil Fuel companies are sitting on 13.9 million acres of our federal land they aren’t even using—and they want even more.
If each acre were a grain of rice, that would be 479 pounds. I demonstrated at a hearing with Big Oil ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/fFr53vIglr
— Rep. Katie Porter (@RepKatiePorter) October 28, 2021
The time is long past due for Big Oil to be reigned in or brought to an end. America’s public lands should not be for sale. This neverending search for more oil is poisoning our environment and holding our economy back from leading a clean energy boom that would transform the world and save it from destruction. Big Oil is not the solution, it’s the problem.
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