Earlier this week, Senator Elizabeth Warren gained the support of many environmentalists when she vowed to ban oil and gas drilling on public lands if elected President in 2020. Now, Bernie Sanders is raising the bar set by Warren by releasing a climate flatform that promises support for a complete ban on fracking, a moratorium on all new fossil fuel projects, an end to oil exports, and a Green New Deal.
“We say to Donald Trump and the fossil fuel industry that climate change is not a hoax but is an existential threat to our country and the entire planet – and we intend to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel and into energy efficiency and sustainable energy and, in the process, create millions of good paying jobs. All of us have a moral responsibility to make certain that the planet we leave to our children and grandchildren is healthy and habitable,” writes Sanders.
Progressives and environmentalists are praising the bold stances that 2020 Presidential hopefuls like Warren and Sanders are taking.
As Sander’s new proposal states, “The recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has made it clear that if we fail to substantially cut the amount of carbon in our atmosphere in under 11 years, the human, environmental, and economic costs will be severe and irreversible.”
Sanders promises that if elected he will:
- Pass a Green New Deal to save American families money and generate millions of jobs by transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels to 100% energy efficiency and sustainable energy. A Green New Deal will protect workers and the communities in which they live to ensure a transition to family-sustaining wage, union jobs.
- Invest in infrastructure and programs to protect the frontline communities most vulnerable to extreme climate impacts like wildfires, sea level rise, drought, floods, and extreme weather like hurricanes.
- Reduce carbon pollution emissions from our transportation system by building out high-speed passenger rail, electric vehicles, and public transit.
- Ban fracking and new fossil fuel infrastructure and keep oil, gas, and coal in the ground by banning fossil fuel leases on public lands.
- End exports of coal, natural gas, and crude oil.
Both Sanders and Warren are raising the bar for politicians hoping to run in 2020, as many Democratic voters look favorably on candidates serious about confronting climate change. Some groups have even called for a Democratic presidential climate-specific debate during the primaries.