​​Letter from ​Leading Environment and Human Rights Groups​: ​Ending Amazon Crude ​Is ​Key to Fossil-Free Movement

Photo credit: Amazon Watch

To: United States-based corporations and California policymakers –

We, the undersigned organizations, write to you – entities involved in the processing, use, regulation, and financing of Amazon crude – to request that you take action to stem the influx of Amazon crude oil into the United States. Expanding oil drilling in the Amazon rainforest runs counter to the scientific imperative to keep at least two-thirds of fossil fuel reserves in the ground to avoid reaching two degrees Celsius of warming and to have a fighting chance at escaping the most catastrophic effects of climate change. Continuing to expand the fossil fuel frontier in places like the Amazon will lead the world to drastically miss the Paris Accord targets, with severe consequences for our climate.

The negative implications of continued oil drilling in the Amazon are particularly egregious given the region's global ecological and cultural significance. The Amazon sequesters large quantities of carbon dioxide and plays a critical role in regulating the global climate. It contains one-fifth of the world's flowing fresh water, produces one-fifth of the planet's oxygen, and houses one-tenth of its biodiversity. It is also home to hundreds of indigenous nationalities, including dozens living in voluntary isolation.

Oil extraction in the western Amazon Basin, where the vast majority of oil drilling in the Amazon occurs, causes negative community health impacts, environmental contamination, deforestation, and biodiversity loss. To make matters worse, these projects often occur on or near the territories of indigenous nations that have not been properly consulted per national and international laws, or have explicitly rejected the presence of oil companies on their land. In spite of community resistance and the scientific imperative of placing a moratorium on new oil and gas projects to prevent climate chaos, Amazonian governments continue to auction off new oil concessions to the highest bidder.

United States institutions and companies can and should play a role in stopping the expansion of the fossil fuel frontier in the Amazon. About 60 percent of crude oil exports from the Western Amazon come to the United States, largely to California, where it is refined and enters the fuel streams of end users. This means that U.S. corporations – whether oil refineries processing Amazon crude or companies with large truck fleets using Amazon crude in their transport operations – -are creating the demand that justifies the continued expansion of fossil fuel extraction in the Amazon. In addition, various U.S. financial institutions are bankrolling oil companies exploring and extracting oil from the Amazon and California policymakers have remained silent regarding the presence of Amazon crude in the state's fuel mix.

In order to stop Amazon destruction, respect indigenous rights, and prevent runaway climate change, we join Amazon Watch in calling on United States institutions to do their part to End Amazon Crude:

  • Financial institutions: publicly disclose company investments in climate-related holdings, divest all portfolios from any financing of exploration or drilling of Amazon crude, and, if you are an Equators Principles Financial Institution (EPFI), urge fellow EPFIs to adopt new, stronger principles.
  • Companies with large transport footprints: identify and eliminate company use of Amazon crude in transport operations and issue a public statement regarding steps taken to go Amazon crude-free; expand company commitments to clean, renewable energy.
  • California policymakers: curb the importation of Amazon crude to California through legislation and/or regulatory action; support legislation that seeks to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels.

Thank you for taking action to ensure a safe and livable planet for present and future generations.

  • 350.org
    350.org
  • 350 Bay Area
    350 Bay Area
  • Alameda Interfaith Climate Action Network
    Alameda Interfaith Climate Action Network
  • AlphaSource Climate Fund
    AlphaSource Climate Fund
  • Amazon Frontlines
    Amazon Frontlines
  • Amazon Watch
    Amazon Watch
  • Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)
    Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN)
  • Ballona Creek Renaissance (BCR)
    Ballona Creek Renaissance (BCR)
  • The Borneo Project
    The Borneo Project
  • California Environmental Justice Coalition (CEJC)
    California Environmental Justice Coalition (CEJC)
  • Californians Against Fracking & Dangerous Drilling
    Californians Against Fracking & Dangerous Drilling
  • California Student Sustainability Coalition
    California Student Sustainability Coalition
  • Center for Biological Diversity
    Center for Biological Diversity
  • Center for Environmental Health
    Center for Environmental Health
  • Community Food and Justice Coalition
    Community Food and Justice Coalition
  • Communities for a Better Environment
    Communities for a Better Environment
  • Connecticut Citizen's Action Group (CCAG)
    Connecticut Citizen's Action Group (CCAG)
  • Corporate Accountability
    Corporate Accountability
  • CREDO Action
    CREDO Action
  • Cultural Survival
    Cultural Survival
  • Defenders of Mother Earth – Huichin
    Defenders of Mother Earth – Huichin
  • EarthRights International
    EarthRights International
  • Earthworks
    Earthworks
  • EcoViva
    EcoViva
  • Environmental Justice Coalition for Water
    Environmental Justice Coalition for Water
  • Food Empowerment Project
    Food Empowerment Project
  • Food & Water Watch
    Food & Water Watch
  • Fossil Free California
    Fossil Free California
  • Friends of the Earth – US
    Friends of the Earth – US
  • Global Exchange
    Global Exchange
  • Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
    Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
  • Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice
    Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice
  • Green America
    Green America
  • Greenpeace USA
    Greenpeace USA
  • Harrington Investments, Inc.
    Harrington Investments, Inc.
  • Idle No More SF Bay
    Idle No More SF Bay
  • Indigenous Environmental Network
    Indigenous Environmental Network
  • InterAmerican Clean Energy Institute
    InterAmerican Clean Energy Institute
  • MLK Coalition of Greater Los Angeles
    MLK Coalition of Greater Los Angeles
  • Movement Rights
    Movement Rights
  • Nicaragua Center for Community Action
    Nicaragua Center for Community Action
  • Oil Change International
    Oil Change International
  • Pachamama Alliance
    Pachamama Alliance
  • El Pueblo para el Aire y Agua Limpia de Kettleman City
    El Pueblo para el Aire y Agua Limpia de Kettleman City
  • Rainforest Action Network
    Rainforest Action Network
  • Rootskeeper
    Rootskeeper
  • The Rules
    The Rules
  • Santa Barbara Standing Rock Coalition
    Santa Barbara Standing Rock Coalition
  • Sierra Club
    Sierra Club
  • SoCal 350 Climate Action
    SoCal 350 Climate Action
  • Soil Not Oil Coalition
    Soil Not Oil Coalition
  • Sunflower Alliance
    Sunflower Alliance
  • SustainUS
    SustainUS
  • Topanga Peace Alliance
    Topanga Peace Alliance
  • West County Toxics Coalition
    West County Toxics Coalition
  • Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN)
    Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN)

Add Your Signature

We invite other organizations to voice their support for the End Amazon Crude campaign by adding their names to this sign-on letter. The campaign calls on U.S.-based corporations and California policymakers to take action to stem the influx of Amazon crude oil into the United States.

ADD YOUR ORGANIZATION

Add Your Organization to This Letter

Please use this form to sign on in support of the End Amazon Crude campaign.

Required
Required
Required
Required
Please enter a valid email address

×

Share & Comment

Related Multimedia

Features

Yes, I will donate to protect the Amazon!

"The work you do is vital, and I am happy to support it."
– Charlotte R. A.

DONATE NOW

Together we can defend the Amazon!

All donations DOUBLED through the end of the year!

DONATE TODAY

×