Quantcast

Senate Democrats Unveil Energy Bill to Signal 'Full-Throated Support' of Obama's 'Aggressive' Climate Plan

Climate

A group of Senate Democrats unveiled an energy bill today, which follows a proposal that came out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee in July. The bill aims to end some subsidies for fossil fuels and close some oil and gas tax loopholes, incentivize renewable energy such as solar and wind through grant programs and tax incentives, and encourage carbon capture and sequestration, nuclear and biofuels, according to the nonprofit Friends of the Earth.

The New York Times reports, though the bill "has no chance of passage in the Republican-controlled Congress," it's “intended to signal [Democrat's] full-throated support of President Obama’s aggressive climate change agenda to 2016 voters and to the rest of the world." The bill, announced by Senate Democratic party leaders and the energy committee's top Democrat, Sen. Maria Cantwell, "laid out the party's vision for cutting emissions at least 34 percent by 2025," according to Reuters. That's a cut even larger than the target set by the Obama administration.

"Congress must put forward a vision for how we can transition to a clean energy economy," said Friends of the Earth Climate and Energy Director Ben Schreiber. "Our country must lead the world in the fight against climate change. Unfortunately, the time has passed for half-measures. Extending subsidies for renewables and ending Big Oil giveaways are important steps, but we cannot afford to throw our tax dollars after false solutions."

The bill was introduced today in the Senate just hours before the Pope is expected to arrive in Washington, DC. Pope Francis has become an outspoken advocate for strong action on climate change and media reports indicate that he plans to use his first-ever visit to the U.S. to hone in on his climate message. He will deliver an address to Congress on Thursday before heading to New York on Friday to speak to the UN General Assembly.

While many prominent conservatives have attacked the Pope for his views on climate change, 11 Republican members of Congress called for climate action last week, introducing a resolution that put the climate challenge in the broader context of conservation, stewardship, innovation and conservatism.

“If Congress is interested in a responsible energy plan for American families that cuts carbon pollution, invests in the booming clean energy economy and finally tackles the challenge posed by global climate disruption, they should start with this bill," said Sierra Club legislative director Melinda Pierce.

"This legislation offers a bold, ambitious vision for growing our clean energy economy and tackling the climate crisis, and the Sierra Club commends Senator Cantwell and Senate Democratic leadership for their dedication to bringing this legislation to the American people. While there is much left to do, this bill constitutes a powerful step toward an America powered by safer energy choices that will create jobs, keep our air and water clean and take action to help curb the climate crisis.”

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Climate Deniers Attack ‘Rock Star’ Pope as ‘Nature-Worshipping Pagan’ Amid U.S. Visit

Stephen Colbert Explains Why Bernie Sanders Is Rocking Rallies All Over the Country

Koch Brothers: Apocalyptical Forces of Ignorance and Greed, Says RFK Jr.

#BearSelfies Force Colorado Park to Close

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

New pine trees grow from the forest floor along the North Fork of the Flathead River on the western boundary of Glacier National Park on Sept. 16, 2019 near West Glacier, Montana. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

By Alex Kirby

New forests are an apparently promising way to tackle global heating: the trees absorb carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas from human activities. But there's a snag, because permanently lower river flows can be an unintended consequence.

Read More
Household actions lead to changes in collective behavior and are an essential part of social movements. Pixabay / Pexels

By Greg McDermid, Joule A Bergerson, Sheri Madigan

Hidden among all of the troubling environmental headlines from 2019 — and let's face it, there were plenty — was one encouraging sign: the world is waking up to the reality of climate change.

So now what?

Read More
Sponsored
Logging state in the U.S. is seen representing some of the consequences humans will face in the absence of concrete action to stop deforestation, pollution and the climate crisis. Mark Newman / Lonely Planet Images / Getty Images

Talk is cheap, says the acting executive secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, who begged governments around the world to make sure that 2020 is not another year of conferences and empty promises, but instead is the year to take decisive action to stop the mass extinction of wildlife and the destruction of habitat-sustaining ecosystems, as The Guardian reported.

Read More
The people of Kiribati have been under pressure to relocate due to sea level rise. A young woman wades through the salty sea water that flooded her way home on Sept. 29, 2015. Jonas Gratzer / LightRocket via Getty Images

Refugees fleeing the impending effects of the climate crisis cannot be forced to return home, according to a new decision by the United Nations Human Rights Committee, as CNN reported. The new decision could open up a massive wave of legal claims by displaced people around the world.

Read More
The first day of the Strike WEF march on Davos on Jan. 18, 2020 near Davos, Switzerland. The activists want climate justice and think the WEF is for the world's richest and political elite only. Kristian Buus / In Pictures via Getty Images

By Ashutosh Pandey

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg is returning to the Swiss ski resort of Davos for the 2020 World Economic Forum with a strong and clear message: put an end to the fossil fuel "madness."

Read More