Mar 7, 2022 - Energy & Environment

First look: Green counterpunch on drilling push

In this illustration, an oil rig hauls an Earth.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

In a memo provided first to Axios, Evergreen Action is pushing back against the argument that boosting domestic oil and gas drilling is the best way to free the U.S. from Russian oil imports.

Driving the news: The environmental group is calling for a major boost in clean energy deployment instead.

Why it matters: Industry groups have delivered asks to the Biden administration in the wake of the Russian invasion. These include providing more policy certainty regarding oil and gas leasing on federal lands.

The intrigue: To Evergreen Action, the oil and gas industry is using the Ukraine crisis to pressure the administration into taking steps that would favor more drilling and worsen climate change.

Zoom in: Evergreen is trying to counterpunch this take, stating: "There is only one long-term solution to secure affordable energy for American families and undercut the Putin regime: a transition to a 100% clean energy economy."

  • The memo notes that since oil and gas are global commodities, increased extraction in the U.S. would not diminish Russia's energy influence.
  • "The fossil fuel industry is peddling false solutions that will do nothing to loosen Vladimir Putin’s grip on the global energy market," said Jamal Raad, Evergreen Action co-founder and executive director, in a statement to Axios.
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