For starters, Sanders wants to shut down the fossil fuel lobby.
Image via Flickr user Nick Solari
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders unveiled an ambitious climate change policy plan Monday, one that the Vermont senator says could cut U.S. carbon pollution by 40 percent by 2030.
“Right now, we have an energy policy that is rigged to boost the profits of big oil companies like Exxon, BP, and Shell at the expense of average Americans,” Sanders said in a statement. “It’s time for a political revolution that takes on the fossil fuel billionaires, accelerates our transition to clean energy, and finally puts people before the profits of polluters.”
- placing a tax on carbon;
- ending $135 billion in fossil fuel subsidies;
- banning offshore, Arctic, and mountaintop drilling, which are important sources for oil, gas, and coal power;
- increasing fuel economy standards to 65 miles per gallon by 2025;
- building electric vehicle charging stations to help consumers transition from gasoline-powered to electric cars;
- investing in high-speed passenger and cargo rail;
- barring fossil fuel industry lobbyists from the White House;
- creating a 10-million job clean energy workforce.
Many of these proposals should prove politically challenging. Carbon taxes, for example, have proved anathema to the Republican Party, in part because GOP politicians are loath to admit that human-influenced climate change has occurred.
Still, the environmental group Greenpeace USA has praised the Sanders plan.
“The climate plan released by Senator Bernie Sanders today shows that he has broken free of the corporate and 1 percent money that has held back climate policy for far too long,” executive director Annie Leonard wrote in a statement. “Sanders has issued a powerful call for climate justice and decisive action to keep fossil fuels in the ground and support the communities who are suffering from climate and environmental impacts.”
(Via New York Times)