In a letter to Tom Perez, the Democratic National Committee chairman, the Sierra Club demanded the reinstatement of language originally included in its platform, which calls for the end of tax breaks and subsidies for fossil fuel companies. The letter condemned the Democratic Party’s actions and said that developing a platform to establish principles of equity, justice and equality is important to combat the climate crisis.
The DNC is accused of removing language that was part of the Manager’s Mark that stated: “Democrats support eliminating tax breaks and subsidies for fossil fuels, and will fight to defend and extend tax incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy.”
A spokesperson for the DNC said the amendment was “incorrectly included in the Manager’s Mark” and taken out “after the error was discovered,” Huffington Post reported. But activists believed the amendment was “retroactively” removed from the final draft of the Democratic Party platform.
“Chairman Perez, we cannot disregard the tens of thousands of climate justice activists who demand that our nation’s leaders fight for a livable, healthy planet,” Ramón J. Cruz, president of the Sierra Club said. “We need party leaders who are dedicated to solutions to the climate crisis that advance justice for communities confronted daily with systemic racism and toxic pollution. If we’re going to have a planet that’s safe and habitable for all,we must ensure a just transition off of fossil fuel production that protects workers and communities.”
The Sierra Club and its 3.8 million members and supporters said the removal of such language drastically diverges from the DNC’s 2016 platform. As the organization demands the language be reinstated, the letter also asked the DNC to lead the way in “tackling climate crisis and support the booming clean energy economy.”
The United States, once a leader in reducing the carbon footprint, is now trailing behind in its promise to lower carbon emissions since Donald Trump decided to withdraw the country from the 2015 Paris Agreement. And with the fossil fuel industry “primarily responsible” for the climate crisis, the federal government’s decision to funnel billions of dollars to keep their businesses afloat is against what the majority of voters from all political affiliations want for the nation, according to a recent poll.
The letter also asked that the platform commit to the health of collective humanity and “focus on redirecting fossil fuel subsidies to renewable energy, which would give us a major boom in emissions reductions.”
“The future of our planet depends on it,” Cruz said. “It’s past time to end fossil fuel subsidies.”