The Bern

For starters I went to the Bernie site. Under ‘Combating Climate Change to Save the Planet’ there are some good ideas and policy changes he pledges to take.

The first one is pure straightforward Bernie. He will ban fossil fuel lobbyists from working in the White House. That’s pretty good for #1.

#2. End the huge subsidies given to fossil fuel companies.

#3. Create an environmental and climate justice plan that addresses and defines the public health risks that poor Americans face due to climate change.

#4. Bring climate deniers to justice!

#5. Lead the fight to overturn Citizens United.

Bernie’s passion for economic justice and the underprivileged are woven throughout his campaign. He knows that there’s huge money that’s created a climate change intransigence in the government. There’s huge money behind outright denial. And the big reason for the big money is the Citizens United decision.

From the League of Conservation Voters(lcv.org), founded by David Broward in 1969, the same year he founded Friends of the Earth:

In June 2008, Sen. Sanders voted for a motion to invoke cloture (a procedure for ending a debate and taking a vote) on the motion to proceed to H.R.6049, a bill that “would have extended dozens of expired or soon-to-expire tax provisions for one year, including tax credits for research, investment in solar and fuel cells, and the production tax credit for wind and other renewable energy sources. The tax credits would be offset by closing various corporate loopholes.” According to LCV’s 2008 legislative scorecard, “a broad coalition of businesses, construction companies, environmental organizations, investors, labor groups, trade associations and utilities agree that the single most effective measure to increase the use of clean renewable energy and energy efficiency is to extend and expand the present set of clean energy tax credits that are due to expire at the end of 2008. Energy experts maintain that extending the credits could save as many as 117,000 existing jobs and generate an additional $19 billion in domestic clean energy investment.” Needing a three-fifths vote, the cloture motion was rejected 52-44.

In January 2015, Sen. Sanders voted for legislation that would set a goal for the nation to get 25% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025. This policy builds on the proven success states have seen in setting similar policies and would help the U.S. lead in the global clean energy economy. A strong national renewable electricity standard would create jobs, protect consumers, and reduce pollution. Sen. Udall’s (D-NM) amendment to the Keystone XL Pipeline Act was rejected 45-53.

In January 2015, Sen. Sanders voted for legislation to express the sense of Congress that the Production Tax Credit should be renewed for five years. This tax incentive expired at the end of 2014 and is essential to the continued expansion of renewable energy sources like wind, and would create jobs, reduce pollution, and increase our energy independence. The amendment failed 47-51.

In January 2015, Sen. Sanders voted for legislation – that he sponsored – which would provide support for the installation of solar panels on ten million roofs by 2025. The amendment to the Keystone XL Pipeline Act 20 would create jobs, reduce carbon pollution, and significantly expand the U.S.’s capacity to generate solar power. It was rejected 40-58.

During the October 13, 2015 Democratic primary debate, Sen. Sanders said, “I believe, and Pope Francis made this point – this is a moral issue. The scientists are telling us that we need to move extremely boldly. I am proud – along with Senator Barbara Boxer, a few years ago – we introduced the first piece of climate change legislation which called for a tax on carbon. Let me also tell you that nothing is going to happen unless we are prepared to deal with campaign finance reform because the fossil fuel industry is funding the Republican Party, which denies the reality of climate change and certainly is not prepared to go forward aggressively. This is a moral issue. We have got to be extremely aggressive in working with China, India, Russia. The future of the planet is at stake.” [CNN Debate, 10/13/15]

On November 4, 2015, Sen. Sanders, along with Sens. Merkley and Leahy, introduced legislation to ban “all new federal leases for oil, gas or coal extraction on public lands and waters.” In a statement, Sen. Sanders said, “We are taking on the Koch brothers and some of the most powerful political forces in the world who are more concerned with short-term profits than the future of the planet. I’ve got four kids, and I’ve got seven beautiful grandchildren. We have a moral responsibility to leave our kids a planet that is healthy and inhabitable.”

So there you have it. Good, solid legislation, all rejected.

The country has gotten itself into a mess. Reactive responses to terror, real and imagined, seem to have poisoned our way of governing.

Poisoned? Sanders is the antidote!