Bernie Sanders Gets Major Environmental Endorsement

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The campaign of Bernie Sanders scored a major coup Saturday, earning the first endorsement of any candidate by a national environmental group, Friends of the Earth.

Granted, the field is limited to Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, given that no living Republican candidate will ever earn the endorsement of any environmental group, local, state, or national. But with the narrowing gap between Clinton and Sanders, this endorsement is no small thing.

Donald Trump, of course, currently the leading Republican candidate, announced back in January of 2014 that “This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop. Our planet is freezing, record low temps,and our GW scientists are stuck in ice.”

Now, with 2014 behind us, the studies are in, and according to NOAA, 2014 was the warmest year on record:

The Sanders campaign released a statement from Concord, New Hampshire:

“I am very honored to receive the endorsement of one of the great environmental organizations not only in America but in the world,” Sanders said at the news conference at a park here along the banks of the Merrimack River.

The endorsement was announced by Michael Herz, a former chairman and current Friends of the Earth board member. Erich Pica, the president of Friends of the Earth Action, said in a statement that the endorsement means his group’s 2 million activists will promote Sanders’ bid to become the Democratic Party nominee for president.

“He has proven himself a bold and fearless voice for the planet,” Pica said of Sanders in a prepared statement. “Sen. Sanders’ bold ideas and real solutions to addressing climate change, inequality and promoting a transformative economy that prioritizes public health and the environment over corporate profits, have earned him an enthusiastic endorsement from Friends of the Earth Action.”

In the audience at the news conference was Jerry Curran, the chairman of the New Hampshire chapter of the Sierra Club. Another leading environmentalist and best-selling author, Bill McKibben, took part in the May 26 kickoff of Sanders’ presidential campaign at a Lake Champlain shoreline park in Burlington, Vermont.

In accepting the Friends of the Earth endorsement, Sanders focused on the most serious environmental issue confronting the planet: global warming. “We need to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel and into sustainable energy,” Sanders said.

The endorsement capped a week during which Sanders welcomed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s support for solar power and energy efficiency, but questioned her refusal to take a stand on construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline and drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean.

“If you’re concerned about climate change, say no to the Keystone XL pipeline,” Sanders said at the news conference. He said the pipeline would ship some of the dirtiest oil on the planet from Canada’s tar sands region across the United States to refineries in Texas.

Sanders’ clear stand on the pipeline was among the factors Friends of the Earth cited in its endorsement.

Sanders said he would tax emissions from burning oil and coal to discourage the use of fossil fuels responsible for climate change. He has proposed eliminating $135 billion in tax breaks for fossil fuel companies which turn enormous profits. He introduced legislation Congress passed to create an energy efficiency block grant program. His measure was folded into a broader energy bill that Congress passed in 2007. He later secured $3.2 billion for the initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. And his 10 Million Solar Roofs Act would make solar power more affordable and make it simpler for homeowners and businesses to get local permits.

The environment gets far too little attention. Republicans don’t care about it. Ann Coulter, for example, echoing what many Republicans seem to believe, says immigration is the important issue, not the fact that sea levels are rising along with global temperatures, year after year.

It is important that going forward, both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders address this important issue, because it is the only issue being talked about in this campaign cycle that affects every living person on this planet. And without a habitable planet, all other issues, no matter how dear to your heart, become non-issues.

15 Replies to “Bernie Sanders Gets Major Environmental Endorsement”

  1. Just wrote to Robert Reich asking him to make his movie *Inequality For All* free for all to see.
    After watching this Trailer for it…The comments will break your heart! People think the Movie’s coming out this next September.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9REdcxfie3M

    (What inspired me was a comment on The Guardian that said, It’s looks like America is going into another Gilded-Age. And we are!)

    You can write to Reich at his website!

  2. …would think The Billionaire Bastards would have at least SOME interest in the environment…you can’t breathe money…

  3. Just my 2 cents on the pipeline. Yes the last connecting part is stopped for now but the tar sands are still flowing via trains which blows up far too much for my taste but no one is talking about the trains.

    Now both candidates are talking about fixing the infrastructure that should help but in the meantime the tar sands keeps flowing

  4. They’re too busy accumulating WEALTH.

    Oh, I believe it’s more severe than just greed. They have all the money they and their next three generations will ever need. This isn’t about “more wealth”. These people are money-hoarders.

    Some people collect and hoard animals, newspapers, and other inanimate items. People like the Koch Bros and Adelsons hoard money. It’s a mental disorder – which can explain why they’re RW-Republicans. A person would need to have a mental disorder in order to be a Republican.

  5. This is exactly why Ed Schultz was for the Keystone XL Pipeline before the environmentalists wrote his show and forced him to be against it.

    The trains currently transporting tar sands oil are exploding and derailing with alarming frequency.

  6. A well deserved endorsement for #Bernie2016. He has one of the very best records in congress for his support on environmental issues and his fight for being pro-active about climate change.

  7. They derail so often that one might get the notion that it’s intentional- after all if such keeps happening then the XL would become a railway safety issue necessity…right?

  8. Bernie Sanders is the best candidate, BUT if he is elected President he will be powerless to pass laws, because both parties are swimming in money/ bribes to vote for the interests of polluting corporations instead of the interests of the people.The obvious solution, that citizens of other nations successfully used to clean up their government was to quickly build a Labour Party.They, then, voted their Labour Party candidates into office and passed laws that gave them Free healthcare and Free college. We can do the same by stopping waging trillion dollar wars around the world and using this money for constructive use instead of destructive use! We also would have the votes to stop the tax dodging of rich corporations and rich indidviduals and use these tax dollars to fix our infrastructure, better fund our public schools, and give free college to our children. Bernie should ask Elizaberth Warren to join him as his Vice President and help build an American Labor party that will win!

  9. Good going, Bernie, and congrats to him! Sec. Clinton had better get with the program if she’s going to be the first woman POTUS. Pres. Obama has already said he is against the pipeline–besides oil/gas causing the majority of climate change, the U.S. bears all the risk and the oil will go up for sale on the international market. So, I don’t know why Sec. Clinton said she is waiting for the POTUS’ decision unless she wants us to think she is being funded by big oil…

  10. That would depend on many factors like, how long they’ve been transporting dirty oil across States and when these trains suddenly began derailing even exploding at an alarming rate that another mode of transportation is necessary.

    I’m not certain how long, but if this has been happening for a couple of decades, then what you suggest may merely be a conspiracy theory.

  11. The Keystone XL Pipeline bill, pushed forward by two big unions (AFL-CIO and The Brotherhood of Teamsters) had passed Congress and was sent to die on President Obama’s desk. He vetoed it and the Senate failed to override his veto, back in February.

    “The presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously,” Obama said in his veto message to the Senate. “But I also take seriously my responsibility to the American people. And because this act of Congress conflicts with established executive branch procedures and cuts short thorough consideration of issues that could bear on our national interest — including our security, safety, and environment — it has earned my veto.”
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2015/02/24/obama-keystone-veto/23879735/

  12. Glad Sanders got the endorsement but Bernie and Hilary are not the only two running who’d be eligible because of the party they’re in. Webb, O’Malley, Chafee are out there, too. Let’s not be exclusionary, something that’s been happening to Bernie as well in terms of general media coverage.

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