The Democratic presidential and vice-presidential candidates were barely announced before the DNC removed campaign pledges to end fossil fuel subsidies. In the final draft of the Manager’s Mark, the ledger of party demands, that promise was quietly omitted.
The July 27 version of the Manager’s Mark included the statement, “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.”
So what happened? According to a DNC spokesperson, the amendment regarding fossil fuels was “incorrectly included in the Manager’s Mark” and removed “after the error was discovered.”
But activists say the amendment didn’t make the platform’s final draft because an anti-fossil fuel stance could lose voters in oil- and coal-producing states like Texas and Pennsylvania. “This is ridiculous,” said Collin Rees, a campaigner for the nonprofit Oil Change U.S. “This is a commonsense position held by both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. … The DNC should immediately include it in the platform.”
The exact amount of U.S. government subsidies to the oil and gas business is unknown. Some estimates show a low of $20 billion per year. But last year, the International Monetary Fund concluded the figure was closer to $649 billion in 2015 alone. According to the journal Nature Energy, even before the recent plunges in oil prices, about half of U.S. oil reserves were subsidized so that companies could generate profits.
Environmentally minded voters are feeling frustrated by the Democratic Party’s backpedaling. “This platform is a step backwards, and we deserve better,” said Charlie Jiang, a campaigner at Greenpeace.
Via Huffington Post
Image via Jwigley