WASHINGTON - Environmental advocates today issued statements in support of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who last night publically declared his opposition to an 850+ page energy bill - S. 1460, the Energy and Natural Resources Act - which would expedite dangerous fracking and fossil fuel extraction throughout the country. Sanders stated in part: "As a nation, our job is to move away from fossil fuels toward sustainable energy and energy efficiency. This bill does the opposite. It would make us more reliant on fracking for natural gas for decades to come by expediting the review process for natural gas pipelines and liquefied natural gas. It would also provide millions of taxpayer dollars to research new offshore natural gas extraction techniques."
Over three hundred environmental organizations have previously declared their strong opposition to the dirty energy bill. Grassroots energy demanding that Senators oppose the bill is growing. Currently, environmental organizations have driven 200,000 emails and 3,000 calls to the Senate opposing the bill. In response to Senator Sanders’ opposition, advocates issued the following statements:
“By coming out in opposition to the dirty energy bill currently looming before the Senate, Senator Sanders has once again demonstrated the real progressive leadership that is too often hard to find in Washington. The Senate energy bill is a pro-fracking giveaway to oil and gas interests that would commit America to decades more of dangerous fossil fuel dependence. With our climate and a livable future hanging in the balance, Senate Democrats need to wake up, state their sensible opposition to this foolish energy bill now, and ensure it doesn’t see the light of day.” - Food & Water Watch Executive Director Wenonah Hauter
By opposing this bill, Senator Sanders continues to be a real climate leader in Congress. The time has come for us to listen to the science and not play politics with the future of life on this planet. There can be no more trading off a few good conservation provisions in a bill for increased coal projects and fracking. We must transition swiftly to renewable clean energy. Our time is running out." - Actor and advocate Mark Ruffalo
“The Energy and Natural Resources Act amounts to a massive giveaway to desperate players in the coal, oil, and gas industry. At a time when the US should be a global champion of innovative clean energy technologies, this bill props up outdated and uncompetitive fossil fuel projects. The world has a narrow window to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The Senate must listen to what the majority of people in this country want — a just transition to renewable energy and an expedited retreat from fossil fuels.” - Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard
“The Democratic Party Platform is on record in declaring that we are in a climate emergency. In this post Paris, Trumpian age of unreason it is relatively easy for Democratic Senators to embrace science and acknowledge that climate change is real -- but -- to vote in support of this legislation is to ignore what the science tells us is necessary to meet this moment in history. We must move off fossil fuels immediately. I applaud Senator Sanders’ statement in opposition to this bill and call on every Senator to join him in not just acknowledging science, but in voting in accordance with its findings. To do otherwise is a different sort of climate denial.” - Russell Greene, PDA
“Friends of the Earth thanks Senator Sanders for once again standing up against corporate polluters and for the American people. The Senate dirty energy bill would further Trump’s extreme agenda by increasing fracking. Resisting Trump means resisting fossil fuels.” - Ben Schreiber, Senior Political Strategist, Friends of the Earth
“Once again, Bernie Sanders shows that he is a champion of the American people by reminding the Senate that clean renewable energy, not obedience to industry executives, is the future of our country.” - Bill Snape, senior counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity, and an assistant dean at American University Law School.
For more background on the bill and advocates calling on Senator Schumer and the Senate Democrats to oppose the measure, see the following:
Wenonah Hauter and Bill McKibben in The Hill: Senate energy bill would fan the flames of climate change
Mark Ruffalo and Fisher Stevens in the NY Daily News: Schumer and Democrats must stand against McConnell's dirty energy bill: Don't give Trump & Co. a key victory
Contact: Seth Gladstone - sgladstone[at]fwwatch[dot]org, 347.778.2866