Bernie Sanders is taking on President Barack Obama’s “all of the above” energy strategy. The Democratic presidential candidate and Independent Senator from Vermont on Wednesday co-introduced a climate bill, called the “Keep It In The Ground Act,” that would ban all new federal leases for oil, gas or coal extraction on public lands and waters and terminate leases that aren’t producing. The legislation would also prohibit offshore drilling in the Arctic and the Atlantic. The Obama Administration has been criticized by environmental groups for previously approving offshore oil drilling in the Arctic and the Atlantic, which they argue goes against the president’s pledge to take action against global warming. Last month the president reversed course and blocked new oil drilling in the Arctic.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) joined Sanders in introducing the bill that is cosponsored by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
The bill’s summary, authored by Merkley, makes it clear that in order to avoid a global temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and prevent catastrophic climate change, that 80 percent of the world’s fossil fuels must stay in the ground.
“The bill would keep over 90 percent of the potential carbon emissions from fossil fuels on our federal lands and federal waters underground forever,” read a press release from the office of Sen. Sanders.
“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,” said Sanders at a rally on Capitol Hill to announce the legislation. “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.”
Via The Guardian