Thursday, August 13, 2015

Sanders is the Best Presidential Contender on Climate and the Environment

For anyone who is serious about protecting the environment and combating climate change Democratic Presidential contender Bernie Sanders is by far the best candidate. The Vermont Senator has the most comprehensive policy positions on climate and the environment.

Sanders believes that climate change is the greatest threat facing the planet and he wants the US to lead the world in efforts to combat the climate crisis. Sanders not only talks the talk he has a track record that corroborates his claim that he is the most progressive member of Congress on the issue of climate change.

Sanders is driven by his desire to ensure that the planet is habitable for our children and grandchildren. To make this dream a reality he has proposed a number of actions he would take if he is elected president. This includes an emphasis on efficiency and sustainability. Perhaps most importantly he advocates replacing fossil fuels with clean energy. To help meet this objective he supports efforts to accelerate technological innovation in renewable sources of energy like wind and solar. To help wean America off of dirty sources of energy he has proposed a tax on carbon emissions and eliminating subsidies/tax breaks for fossil fuel companies.

In a press release, Sanders strongly supported President Obama’s climate change initiatives including the clean power plan:

"I applaud President Obama for recognizing that climate change is the great planetary crisis facing our country and the world. I support his plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants and to promote more wind and solar power and other sources of renewable energy."

Sanders has already demonstrated his commitment to combating climate change through his work in the Senate where he has represented the people of Vermont for a quarter century. Sanders has Introduced climate change legislation with Sen. Barbara Boxer to tax carbon and methane emissions. He has led the opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline and secured $3.2 billion in the economic stimulus package for grants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Through this program more than 86,000 buildings have been upgraded and more than 9,500 solar energy systems have been installed.

He said that climate change is not just an environmental issue, but an economic and national security one as well. “Our task is clear,” Sanders said. “We must dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” We can decouple greenhouse gas emissions and the economic growth

Sanders has been a staunch critic of Republicans pointing out that their obstructionism on climate action is due largely to the fact that the party is owned by the Koch brothers and the oil companies.

"It is time for Republicans in Congress to stop obstructing efforts to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels and toward energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. I understand that Republicans, including many of those running for president, are dependent on the Koch brothers, oil companies, and other fossil-fuel contributors. Maybe for once they can overcome the needs of their campaign contributors and worry instead about the planet they are leaving their kids and grandchildren and young people all over the world. Congress has become an institution that only serves those who write the biggest checks to fund their campaigns. The actual process of governing operates through a filter of donor whims and needs. The Republican-controlled Congress does not respond to desires of the majority because cash comes before constituents."

During the first Republican presidential debate Sanders tweeted, "The clock is ticking. Climate change? Income inequality? Citizens United? Waiting for the questions and the discussion." and "Climate change is the great global environmental crisis, but they want to cut or destroy the EPA."

From the outset of his campaign the concern expressed by many, including some of his supporters, was that he was unelectable. However, as people are becoming more familiar with him and his policies there appears to be a groundswell of support for the Vermont Senator.

Sanders is now showing growing support in almost every major poll. A recent Gallup Poll, indicates that Sanders’ favorability rating has doubled since March, while the Democratic presidential frontrunner, Hilary Clinton's favorability rating has declined by almost 9 percent.

As reported by CNN, a Franklin Pierce University/Boston Herald poll in the second week of August indicates that Sanders has for the first time pulled ahead of Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire. Sanders had 44 percent support while Clinton had 37 percent support among likely Democratic primary voters.

However, Clinton continues to lead in national polls, but this may change as the rest of the country gets to know Sanders and his policies.

Sanders popularity is unmistakabley growing as evidenced by the 100,000 people that attended recent rallies.  In a show of support for Sanders ecological leadership he was recently endorsed by Friends of the Earth, a progressive political action committee fighting climate change.

As Sanders explains on his website:

"Unless we take bold action to address climate change, our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are going to look back on this period in history and ask a very simple question: Where were they? Why didn’t the United States of America, the most powerful nation on earth, lead the international community in cutting greenhouse gas emissions and preventing the devastating damage that the scientific community told us would surely come?"

If elected Sanders would do more to address the climate crisis and protect the environment than any President in history.

Related
US States Show Carbon Pricing Works
Corporate Actions Buoy US Carbon Pricing 
Curbing Fossil Fuels: Carbon Pricing and an End to Subsidies
Investing in Renewable Energy
The Challenge of Sustainability: Economic Growth and Emissions Reductions 
We can Reduce GHG Emissions  and Tackle Climate Change
The Politics of Conservative Anti-Science Denial 
Obama Clean Energy Budget and Republican Opposition

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