Climate change activists on Wednesday tried to shut down a fossil fuels auction at the Superdome in New Orleans.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management had offered up 45 million acres of federally controlled ocean for fossil fuel development.
Bernard "Ben" Gordon, 66, of New Orleans was among the activists who protested the auction. Environmentalists are calling for the federal government to keep fossil fuel resources beneath the ground. Mining and burning them contributes to climate change.
Sixty-seven million acres of federal land already are leased for fossil fuel development, according to a report from the Center for Biological Diversity. Activists say that's enough to keep the economy running while we transition to cleaner fuels like wind and solar.
The protest in New Orleans was part of the national "keep it in the ground" movement. Climate activists vow to try to disrupt any auction of federal land for fossil fuel development.
Climate activists marched on the Superdome carrying signs that said "Keep it in the ground" and "Solar doesn't spill." Louisiana has been hit hard by environmental disasters, from Hurricane Katrina to the BP oil spill.
James Adams, business development manager for Petroleum Geo-Services, was among the oil and gas industry reps attending Wednesday's fossil fuel lease sale.
Protesters tried to stop the auction on Wednesday but were unable to do so. Nearly 700,000 acres of ocean were auctioned for fossil fuel development, earning the government $156 million.
The activists said their demonstration was also designed to raise awareness and to make a symbolic point, not just stop the lease sale.
Tershara Matthews, of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, takes notes during the reading of bids.
Some auction attendees from the oil and gas industry were perplexed by the protest. One said it was "naive"; another questioned the science of climate change; while another said the protesters had a right to be heard.