Senators Urged to Join Bernie Sanders in Opposing Dirty Energy Bill

By Jessica Corbett, Eco Watch
July 24, 2017

As Senate Democrats stay silent on an energy bill that environmental groups call “a pro-fracking giveaway to oil and gas interests that would commit America to decades more of dangerous fossil fuel dependence,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is receiving applause for speaking out against it.

“As a nation, our job is to move away from fossil fuels toward sustainable energy and energy efficiency. This bill does the opposite,” Sanders said in a statement. Sanders’ opposition to the bill was praised by environmental advocates who continue to pressure Democrats with thousands of phone calls to their Congressional offices.

Food & Water Watch executive director Wenonah Hauter called on others lawmakers to follow Sanders’ lead.

“By coming out in opposition to the dirty energy bill currently looming before the Senate (S.1460), Senator Sanders has once again demonstrated the real progressive leadership that is too often hard to find in Washington,” Hauter said. “With our climate and a livable future hanging in the balance, Senate Democrats need to wake up, state their sensible opposition to this foolish energy bill now, and ensure it doesn’t see the light of day.”

Earlier this month, more than 350 green groups sent a letter to pressure Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to oppose the bill. However, according to recent reporting by Bloomberg, “no Democrat has publicly voiced opposition” to the legislation, which is nearly 900 pages, even though it “would entrench natural gas into the U.S. energy portfolio for years to come.”

The bill, Sanders said, “would make us more reliant on fracking for natural gas for decades to come by expediting the review process for natural gas pipelines and liquefied natural gas. It would also provide millions of taxpayer dollars to research new offshore natural gas extraction techniques.”

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(And keep calling, urging them to oppose S.1460)

Congress is trying to rush through a pipeline fast-track bill that expedites LNG terminal approvals (creating “need” for more pipelines), requires increased deference to FERC from state, local and tribal governments, and much more. The House version – H.R. 2910 – just passed last week. The word is that the Senate bill (S.1460) could be voted on soon, and that Bernie Sanders is so far the only Senator to have spoken out against it!

Please make a quick call:

Capital switchboard: (202) 224-3121 – they will connect you to your Senators.

Basic message:  Please oppose S.1460 – it would fast-track LNG export and pipeline reviews, instead of giving them the additional scrutiny they need!  This energy bill moves us in the wrong direction in many ways.  The fossil fuel industry doesn’t need more handouts and FERC needs major reform, not more power to do the fossil fuel companies’ bidding.

Here is a fact sheet with more information about the bill; here is the full text.

While phone calls are best, here’s a quick link from Food & Water Watch with an editable form email that has the basics.

Please share this action alert (including with people in other states)!

Thank you for your help and for staying engaged!

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