DNC to Ban Fossil Fuel Company Donations
The proposal was reportedly introduced by Christine Pelosi, a member of the DNC and the daughter of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.
"Climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuels represents an existential threat to civilization," the text states, "and Democrats committed in our 2016 Platform to curbing the effects of climate change, protecting America's natural resources, and ensuring the quality of our air, water, and land for current and future generations."
The resolution cites President Obama's ban on all corporate PAC donations to the DNC as well as his Farewell Address, in which he called on efforts to "reduce the corrosive influence of money in our politics, and insist on the principles of transparency and ethics in public service."
The fossil fuel industry contributed a record $100 million into the last presidential campaign and the vast majority was spent on Republicans, according to filings compiled by Greenpeace. Fossil fuel funds comprised 57 percent of Texas Senator Ted Cruz's Super PAC. Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio also received significant fossil fuel contributions.
Republicans received about $53.7 million from oil and gas companies during the 2016 election cycle, but Democrats also received about $7.6 million. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton received 7 percent of her Super PAC money from oil and gas interests, Greenpeace revealed.
The resolution urges the DNC to encourage grassroots donors and "reject corporate PAC contributions from the fossil fuel industry that conflict with our DNC Platform" in order for Democrats "to walk our talk in harmony with our stated beliefs and convictions."
Very good to see the Democrats decide not to take money from the fossil fuel companies. The social license of big o… https://t.co/JslfMA3Kav— Bill McKibben (@Bill McKibben)1528854192.0
The DNC will also consider banning contributions of over $200 from donors employed by the fossil fuel industry, according to HuffPost. That vote will take place at a board meeting in Chicago in August.
"So if Eddie Exxon is your college buddy and a frat-boy friend of yours and he's employed at an Exxon gas station and wishes to donate $25 to have a barbecue and a beer with you, fine," RL Miller, president of the super PAC Climate Hawks Vote Political Action and a co-author of the resolution explained to the website. "But if Edward J. Exxon in Exxon's middle management thinks you're worth contributing $2,700 to out of his own salary, that is much more concerning to us."
The vote was cheered by environmentalists who have pushed progressive lawmakers to affirm their commitment to the climate crisis and swear off contributions from fossil fuel companies.
"Wow. This is a big step AND it's serious proof that our pressure is working," the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led climate action network, tweeted. "Now, the DNC must step up further and refuse all donations over $200 from fossil fuel execs to prove they value young people's futures over oil and gas profits."
The Rise of Big Oil in American Politics https://t.co/JVxh0vSGNK @DeSmogBlog @billmckibben @350 @sierraclub @foe_us @ClimateReality— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1484069996.0
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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
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Energy Is at the Center of the Climate Challenge<p>The <a href="https://science2017.globalchange.gov/chapter/1/" target="_blank">effects of climate change</a> are already evident across the globe, from <a href="https://theconversation.com/100-degrees-in-siberia-5-ways-the-extreme-arctic-heat-wave-follows-a-disturbing-pattern-141442" target="_blank">extreme heat waves</a> to <a href="https://science2017.globalchange.gov/chapter/12/" target="_blank">sea level rise</a>. But while the challenge is daunting, there is hope. Solar and wind power have become the <a href="https://www.irena.org/publications/2020/Jun/Renewable-Power-Costs-in-2019" target="_blank">cheapest forms of power generation globally</a>, and technology progress and innovation continue apace to support a transition to clean energy.</p><p>In the U.S. under a Biden administration, long-term national climate legislation will depend on who controls the Senate, and that won't be clear until after two run-off elections in Georgia in January.</p><p>But there is no shortage of <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2020-biden-climate-change-advice/" target="_blank">ideas for ways Biden</a> could still take action even if his proposals are blocked in Congress. For example, he could use executive orders and direct government agencies to tighten regulations on greenhouse gas emissions; increase research and development in clean energy technologies; and empower states to exceed national standards, <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-autos-emissions-california/defying-trump-california-locks-in-vehicle-emission-deals-with-major-automakers-idUSKCN25D2CH" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">as California did in the past with auto emission standards</a>. A focus on a just and equitable transition for communities and people affected by the decline of fossil fuels will also be key to creating a sustainable transition.</p><p>The U.S. position as the world's largest oil and gas producer and consumer creates political challenges for any administration. U.S. forays into European energy security are often treated with suspicion. Recently, France blocked <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/frances-engie-backs-out-of-u-s-lng-deal-11604435609" target="_blank">a multi-billion dollar contract</a> to buy U.S. liquefied natural gas because of concerns about limited emissions regulations in Texas.</p><p>Strengthening cooperation and partnerships with like-minded countries will be critical to bring about a transition to cleaner energy as well as sustainability in agriculture, forestry, water and other sectors of the global economy.</p>
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We Need More Than Listening<p>By now we have all become sadly accustomed to the current administration sidelining scientists, most prominently Dr. Anthony Fauci, because the facts they provide do not fit with the political rhetoric of the moment.</p><p>I have <a href="https://www.csldf.org/2019/08/22/csldf-helps-climate-scientist-maria-caffrey-fight-for-scientific-integrity/" target="_blank">my own history</a> of filing a scientific integrity complaint with the National Park Service (which falls under the Department of the Interior) after senior ranking employees attempted to censor one of my scientific reports. I know all too well the damage and pain that these actions cause, not just for the individual scientist, but also because these <a href="https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/attacks-on-science" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">attacks on science</a> over the last few years have undermined sound, evidence-based decision making.</p><p>President-elect Biden has repeatedly said that he will <a href="https://thehill.com/homenews/521638-trump-biden-will-listen-to-the-scientists-if-elected" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">listen to the scientists</a>. While this is certainly a welcome change, listening can only take us so far. This past week Lauren Kurtz from the <a href="https://www.csldf.org/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Climate Science Legal Defense Fund</a> and my colleague <a href="https://www.ucsusa.org/about/people/gretchen-goldman" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Gretchen Goldman</a> published <a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ten-steps-that-can-restore-scientific-integrity-in-government/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">an article</a> listing 10 actions the new administration should implement to show their commitment to strengthening government science:</p><ol><li>Clearly prohibit political interference and censorship.</li><li>Protect scientists' communication rights.</li><li>Acknowledge that attempts to violate scientific integrity, even if ultimately not fruitful, are still violations.</li><li>Protect federal scientists' right to provide information to Congress and other lawmakers.</li><li>Commit to incorporating the best science as part of agency decisions.</li><li>Elevate agency scientific integrity policies to have the full force of law.</li><li>Publicly release anonymized information about scientific integrity complaints and their resolutions at every agency.</li><li>Institute an intra-agency workforce, potentially under the White House <a href="https://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/2020-09/strengthening-science-and-si-at-ostp.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Office of Science and Technology Policy</a>, to coordinate scientific integrity efforts across agencies, foster discussion of policy improvements, and standardize criteria for policies across agencies.</li><li>Strengthen whistleblower protections.</li><li>Ensure that policies cover all actors who will be dealing with science.</li></ol>
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<div id="da98c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="478a197b7c59c92787c92bec92f1ac39"><blockquote class="twitter-tweet twitter-custom-tweet" data-twitter-tweet-id="1331662923710693376" data-partner="rebelmouse"><div style="margin:1em 0">Bristol Bay forever, Pebble mine never. #NoPebbleMine #SaveBristolBay https://t.co/CBQ9zuy8A5</div> — Save Bristol Bay (@Save Bristol Bay)<a href="https://twitter.com/SaveBristolBay/statuses/1331662923710693376">1606328156.0</a></blockquote></div>
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