Sanders says Earth Day is a Wake-Up Call

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SandersVERMONT- Vermont state Sen. Bernie Sanders, said that Earth Day is a reminder that dramatic action is needed to curb the carbon and methane emissions responsible for the crisis of global warming. Sanders has introduced two new bills that could help cut the emission of greenhouse gases.

 

Sanders, also a member of the Senate Environment and Energy Committees, cited a warning this month by the United Nations Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change. The UN panel is made up of the world’s leading climate scientist. These scientist have reported that emissions of greenhouse gases have gone up nearly twice as fast so far in the 21st century as they did in the last decades of the 20th century and that the problem is likely to grow much worse unless greenhouse gases emission is brought under control.

“The time is late. We can no longer ignore warnings that climate change is already happening and that unless we act in a bold way, the worst is yet to come,” said Sanders.

The panel did not recommend specific action but mentions some potential solutions. One approach is to put a price on carbon pollution. Sanders introduced in the senate to the bill that would put a fee on carbon and methane emissions including coal mines, oil refineries, and gas processing plants. Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Sen. Barbara Boxer, is co-sponsoring the bill. Sanders and Boxer believes that by transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels and into energy efficiency and sustainably energies, that potentially millions of jobs could open up in Vermont. Energies such as wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass are better efficient sources to research.

According to Sanders/Boxer’s Climate Legislation, while setting a long-term emissions reduction goal of 80% or more by 2050, the legislation would enact a carbon fee of $20 per ton of carbon or methane equivalent, rising 5.6% a year over a ten-year period. This fee would apply to only 2,869 of the largest fossil fuel polluters, covering about 85% of the U.S greenhouse gas emissions. The Congressional Budget Office estimates this step alone could raise $1.2 trillion in revenue over ten years and reduce greenhouse gas emissions approximately 20% from 2005 by 2025.

Sen. Sanders, has also proposed a bill to end subsides for oil and gas companies. Both bills are facing extreme opposition by Republicans in congress who reject the scientific conclusion that climate change is real, and that it is a man-made issue.

“The debate is really over”, he added. “The scientific community is virtually unanimous in agreeing that climate change is real, that it is caused by human activity that it is already causing devastating problems in the United States and around the world.”

A report by the U.N panel said the effects of global warming already are occurring on every continent and across the world’s oceans. It warned that climate change can increase risks of civil war and other violent clashes by amplifying forces like poverty and economic shocks that drive such conflicts.

Sanders used a powerful statement saying, “Unless we take bold action to reverse climate change, our children and grandchildren are going to look back on this period in history and ask a very simple question: ‘Where are they? Why didn’t the United States of America lead international community in cutting Greenhouse gas emissions and preventing the devastating damage that the scientific community was sure would come?’”

At this time, the two bills are being reviewed by the committees.