Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Jeff Merkley and Sen. Patrick Leahy
introducing legislation to help accelerate the transition
to clean energy by ending all new federal leases for oil,
gas or coal extraction on public lands and waters.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Jeff Merkley and Sen. Patrick Leahy introduced “Keep It in the Ground” legislation that they submitted on November 4 to help accelerate the transition to clean energy by ending all new federal leases for oil, gas or coal extraction on public lands and waters.
In introducing the “Keep It in the Ground” legislative initiative Senator Sanders said we have a moral responsibility to make sure that the planet we leave our children and our grandchildren is a planet that is healthy and a planet that is habitable. Unless we move aggressively to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel into efficient, sustainable energy, the planet we're going to leave our kids will instead be a planet that is unhealthy, and in some cases inhabitable.
The CIA and Department of Defense tell us that unless we get a handle on climate change, what you're going to see all over the world are people's struggling over limited natural resources, clean water, and land to grow their crops. So you’re going to see more international conflict and world war.
Sanders said there is something special (an obstacle to climate change legislation) about the Republicans’ climate change view that speaks to the corruption of the campaign finance system. Republicans don't argue about the science regarding cancer, diabetes or heart disease, they look at the same evidence that all of us do and support good science, but somehow when it comes to climate change there are massive attacks on scientists who tell us the truth about climate change.
But here is the political reality, if republicans today stand up and say, I've listened to the scientists, I read the reports, climate change is real, and we’re going to need to do something about it, what happens the next day is their campaign funding from the Koch brothers and other fossil fuel industries will be cut.
Nevertheless, that obstacle must be overcome, the United States must lead the world, work with China, work with Russia, work with India to transform our energy system, first setting the example by ending the extraction of fossil fuel from federally owned land.
But in doing that, we've got to understand that fossil fuel industry workers are producing a product that is endangering our planet. And, we have a moral responsibility to make sure that as we transition away from fossil fuels energy efficiency and sustainable energy that these workers are protected. So we will soon be introducing legislation to protect these workers, which means providing educational opportunities, and job-training opportunities.
At the end of the day, as is the case in every other area of change, whether it civil rights, women's rights, gay rights, the only way that real change takes place is when millions of people come together and stand up and say, you know what, Congress should work for all of us and not just for the people who own the fossil fuel industry.
© Copyright 2015 Horatio Green