For Immediate Release
May 8, 2018
Contact: Julie Light, 510-992-4083, [email protected]
Advocacy Groups Slam Rep. Polis for Undermining Bill to Stem Climate Change
Congressman Pulls Signature from OFF Fossil Fuels Act in Inexplicable Reversal
Denver—Rep. Jared Polis inexplicably withdrew his sponsorship of a bill to stem the effects of climate change just a week after co-sponsoring the measure and publicly proclaiming his support for it at an event with the bill’s author, Rep Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii). The OFF Fossil Fuels Act, (HR3671), would transition the country to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035. The bill’s supporters were stunned by the move by Polis, who is running for Governor promising to get Colorado to 100 percent renewable energy by 2040. Polis did not release a statement explaining his flip flop.
“Jared Polis is trying to have it both ways,” said Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter. “He talks a big game when it comes to climate change, positioning himself as the green candidate for governor. But he still refuses to oppose fracking and just pulled his name off the strongest climate bill in Congress. Until Polis proves otherwise, he can’t be trusted to protect public health, the environment or our climate.”
The OFF Act would move the U.S. off fossil fuels and onto clean, renewable energy in a timeline that scientists say is critical to protecting people against the worst health and environmental impacts of climate change. It would halt new federal fracking and drilling and end subsidies to the oil and gas industry. In addition, the OFF Act would develop good, green jobs in communities hardest hit by the impacts of fossil fuel operations.
Donna Smith, executive director of the national group Progressive Democrats of America, said she and her fellow Coloradans value the state’s natural resources that are threatened by fossil fuel drilling.
“Imagine our deep disappointment and anger in learning that co-sponsorship was withdrawn just days after Rep. Polis used the good will and hard work of others to benefit his campaign for governor and then discarded his position when it no longer seemed politically beneficial to him,” Smith said. “We understand he argued he didn’t know that the bill was an anti-fracking measure due to an incomplete briefing by a staffer. I am hard pressed to know which is more troubling to me — the excuse that he didn’t understand that getting off fossil fuels meant no new fracking or that he passed the blame on to a staffer. The climate crisis requires better leadership than that, surely. So does Colorado.”
The OFF Act was introduced by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and currently has 33 co-sponsors.
Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people, and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment.
Progressive Democrats of America seeks to build a party and government controlled by citizens, not corporate elites—with policies that serve the broad public interest, not just private interests.