Joe Biden and Deb Haaland: Protect natural ecosystems and move solar to the city!

Joe Biden and Deb Haaland: Protect natural ecosystems and move solar to the city!

633 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
Petition to
President Joe Biden and

Why this petition matters

Started by Shannon Salter


Large solar and wind turbine facilities are being built in wild and pristine ecosystems across America. Many of these places are sacred to Indigenous people. They constitute critical habitat for thousands of species of plants and animals, and they provide a necessary access to nature for human beings.

We should build solar and wind facilities in a truly sustainable way. The Energy Act of 2020 directed the Department of Interior to approve 25 Gigawatts of renewable energy on public land by 2025. But this will mean destroying hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of acres of in-tact, wild ecosystems. The Nevada, California, and Arizona deserts are being targeted with full force, but so are forested areas, prairie, and wetlands in other parts of the United States.

Our deserts are not empty wastelands; they are thriving, living ecosystems and they store carbon just like forests in their ancient plants and networks of fungus-rich soils that are thousands of years old. They are home to some of earth's oldest plants, such as the creosote—its root system can live 11,000 years and more. 

When desert valleys and other natural ecosystems are bulldozed for utility-scale solar and wind facilities, they no longer sequester carbon in their soils and plants. This massive land destruction contributes egregiously to the extinction crisis and off-sets reduced emissions by eliminating natural carbon storage.

We can do better. Green Energy does not have to mean bulldozing millions of acres of wild, in-tact ecosystems on American public lands. This is the cheapest and most profitable for the Big Solar and Wind industry, which is why investor-owned corporations are spending millions to lobby for it. But putting profit over the living world is the old way. The new way is building a system of energy-generation that people can take pride in. 

Joe Biden and Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland: stop pushing Big Solar and Big Wind on public land with subsidies and tax-breaks for huge corporations. We demand that this administration instead subsidize solar-shade canopies over every strip mall parking lot in the United States. This will provide shade and shelter from the rain, reduce asphalt degradation from sun exposure, and produce electricity at the same time. 

There are at least 3,500 square miles of parking lots in the United States, and this is a conservative estimate. This is an area larger than Delaware and Rhode Island combined (NY Times). That is 2,224,000 acres, far more than what is needed to achieve Biden's 25 Gigawatt goal. And this doesn't include the millions of rooftops where solar can and should also be installed with subsidies from the federal government. There is no reason to destroy the wild, natural places on which so many species depend. And our own species cannot afford to let big corporations keep calling the shots.

We must amend the Energy Act of 2020 to call for solar-shade canopies over the more than two million acres of parking lots in the United States, as well as the conservation of natural ecosystems that provide much-needed carbon storage and critical habitat.


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633 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!