Senators Jeff Merkley, Bernie Sanders and Ed Markey, along with climate movement leaders responsible for this weekend’s People’s Climate March, announced new legislation that would call for 100% clean energy by 2050.
— Senator Jeff Merkley (@SenJeffMerkley) April 27, 2017
The piece of legislation, called the “100 by ’50 Act” calls for a complete removal of dependence on fossil fuels, while creating a plan to support workers and low income communities, especially those that rely on the fossil fuel industry for jobs, in a transition to clean energy sources. It also plans to end new fossil fuel investments, increase clean energy-based grid storage and create more “green” jobs.
They are calling the bill “the most ambitious piece of climate legislation Congress has ever seen.”
“Mr. President, your job is to listen to the scientific community, which is virtually unanimous in telling us that we have got to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy,” Bernie Sanders said.
The legislation has also been sponsored by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) as well as 12 different climate concern groups, including the Sierra Club and the hosts of this weekend’s People’s Climate march, the League of Conservation Voters.
The “100 by ’50 Act” would stop all new fossil fuel infrastructure projects, such as the famous Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines. Instead, funding would go to new clean energy projects, which would include four million jobs.
Of course the bill’s supporters aren’t fooling themselves. As Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org, stated: “This bill won’t pass Congress immediately – the fossil fuel industry will see to that – but it will change the debate in fundamental ways.” This bill is unlikely to pass during the Trump administration, but it is a great step forward, as well as a good foundation for state and local government to build on.
“Donald Trump is wrong about a lot of things,” Sanders said, “but there is no area where he is more wrong than on the issue of climate change.”