In response to the news that 2012 was the warmest year on record, Sen. Bernie Sanders will introduce new legislation to aggressively reduce global warming.
Sen. Sanders said, “The scientific data is clear that global warming is real and significantly caused by greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels. After the hottest year on record and extreme weather disturbances such as Hurricane Sandy, we must take strong action to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels and move toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy. I intend to introduce legislation in the Senate to do just that.
According to his office, “Sanders’ legislation will include a transparent fee on greenhouse gas emissions from the biggest polluters. It will call for an historic investment in efficiency, sustainable energy, advanced transportation infrastructure, and clean energy research and development. The measure also would end fossil fuel subsidies and tax breaks.”
The United States has doubled its production of wind and solar energy and imposed new vehicle fuel economy standards, Sen. Sanders said we aren’t doing enough, “But we are not doing nearly enough. That is why I will be introducing legislation that would deal realistically with the crisis in a way that is aggressive but achievable.”
Once introduced, Sanders’ legislation should have an immediate friend in the White House. President Obama is on record as supporting all of the investments that Sen. Sanders will propose making.
The president had a lot to say about climate change in a recent interview with Time, “And so, on an issue like climate change, for example, I think for this country and the world to ask some very tough questions about what are we leaving behind, that weighs on you. And not to mention the fact I think that generation is much more environmentally aware than previous generations. There is that sense of we’ve got to get this right, and at least give them a fighting chance. In the same way that as a parent you recognize that no matter what you do, your kids are going to have challenges — because that’s the human condition — but you don’t want them dealing with stuff that’s the result of you making bad choices. They’ll have enough bad choices that they make on their own that you don’t want them inheriting the consequences of bad choices that you make. We have to think about that as a society as a whole.”
Even if the president supports the legislation proposed by Sen. Sanders, and the Senate passes it, the bill will face the nearly impossible task of passing the oil dominated Republican majority in the House.
2013 will be an important year for climate change legislation. Now is the time to get our legislative ducks in a row. Supporters need to know how many more House seats they need to pick up in 2014 for passage. Sen. Sanders has the legislation. President Obama has the support. All those who support legislation to reverse global warming need are the votes in the House to make it happen.