"Hundreds of Gulf Coast residents, supported by local and national environmental and social-justice groups, rallied at the Superdome… in an unprecedented call to end federal offshore fossil fuel lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico," the release stated.
The rally came the same day the Obama administration approved the leasing of 43 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico in an oil drilling plan that leaves the Gulf and the Arctic open to dirty and dangerous fossil fuel extraction projects, the CBD noted.
"If we’re to have any hope of protecting our coastal communities… we need to act now… President Obama halted new offshore oil and gas leasing in the Atlantic, and he needs to do the same in the Gulf of Mexico and the Arctic," CBD oceans campaigner Blake Kopcho said in the release.
Drilling for oil at the new sites will contribute significantly to global carbon emissions and threatens the well-being of Gulf Coast communities and wildlife, according to the release.
Out of more than 5,000 active US federal oil and gas leases, most are in the Gulf of Mexico.