Bernie Sanders Records and policy on Climate Change
Bernie Sanders strongly believes climate change is real, catastrophic, and largely caused by human activities. He believes only aggressive immediate action can offset its future impacts. He often refers to it as the “great planetary crisis we now face”. Bernie unabashedly stands behind the findings of the National Climate Assessment and the IPCC’s fifth assessment report.
Climate Record: Bernie has held steadfast to the opinion that climate change rates are a global crisis and must be immediately and vigorously combated.
Combating Climate Skeptics in Washington: Bernie believes our children and their children deserve relentless fighters of policy that ignores or denies climate change.
Bernie Sanders started the climate change awareness way ahead of everyone else. In fact, he was trying to raise awareness in the 80s, when most of everyone hasn't even heard of the term.
Bernie has served on key Senate committees such as the “Environment and Public Works” and the “Energy and Natural Resources” committees.
Here is one of the latest Climate Change Town Hall hosted by Bernie Sanders.
Bernie has spent hundreds of hours vigorously debating and combating climate skeptic politicians. He has long been unsettled over some of his colleagues’ responses to overwhelming scientific evidence and approaches to policies combating global warming through greenhouse gas emission reductions. Furthermore, he strongly believes the influence of lobbying is to blame for much of the climate change skepticism in Washington.
Bernie has repeatedly called climate skeptics out on their rejection of science. For example, during a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in July 2014, Bernie said: “For the first time to the best of my knowledge, we have a major political party which by and large is rejecting what the majority of the scientific community is saying.”
In another instance, Bernie devastatingly compared climate change denial to tobacco-cancer denial at a marathon all-night U.S. Senate session on climate change in March 2014:
In 2014, Bernie voted “nay” on the Border Fence, which the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) notes “would lead to more damaging floods by impeding the natural flow of water, and would further fragment the habitat, jeopardizing imperiled species like jaguars, ocelots, and bighorn sheep.”
Bernie also voted in favor of the Agriculture Reform, Food, and Jobs Act of 2013. This act would have encouraged important conservation practices to protect wetlands, soil quality, and wildlife. He voted against Amendment No.659 to the congressional budget, which required an investigation of the cumulative economic effects of reserved habitat and would have drained budget resources that would have been better used to help protect those areas.
Clean Water and Air
Bernie voted for the Water Resources Development Act of 2013, which would have ensured the sustainable and healthy management of oceans through increased research.
In March 2015, he voted against a 2015 budget amendment that would have prohibited placing limits on exercising water rights as a condition for using or developing public lands. Notably, this would make drought crises, such as those in California, much worse by prohibiting setting limits on the usage of water. A couple of months later, Bernie spoke out against drilling in the Chukchi Sea, which the Department of Interior estimated could have 75 percent of a large oil spill.
Public Parks & Hunting Lands
Bernie created the Rebuild America Act of 2015, which sets aside $3 billion a year “to improve our national parks, monuments, heritage areas and landmarks for current and future generations to enjoy.”
Bernie has argued strongly in favor of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), in which “companies that drill for (publicly owned) oil and gas…off our shores pay a portion of their revenues into the fund, and that money goes into a trust to acquire… land within the borders of national parks and other protected sites.”
This important program was founded in the 1960s as a way to create more public lands without using taxpayer dollars. Bernie co-signed a letter urging Democratic and Republican Senate leadership to work together to find a permanent funding solution for the program, which is set to expire in September 2015.
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