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DNC to Ban Fossil Fuel Company Donations

Politics

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) voted unanimously over the weekend to no longer accept campaign contributions from fossil fuel companies, Huffington Post reported.

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."

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."

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