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Tonight is CNN’s climate town hall and all of the top polling Democratic candidates have now released their proposals to deal with climate change. That means we can definitively confirm what The Guardian has reported: namely, that Bernie’s Green New Deal “is much more aggressive than other candidates’” climate plans.
Bernie’s initiative is not a “middle ground” plan. On the contrary, as famed environmentalist Bill McKibben declared: Bernie’s plan “is remarkable — it shows what simply must be done to meet the challenge.”
Bernie’s plan differs from all the other candidates’ plans in some distinct ways. For example:
• Bernie’s Green New Deal is the only plan that bans all fracking: Vox reported that a “recent spike in global methane levels that’s putting climate targets at risk may be coming from US oil and gas fracking.” An EPA study “found scientific evidence that hydraulic fracturing activities can impact drinking water resources.” Unlike other candidates, Bernie’s plan would completely ban fracking. Full stop.
• Bernie’s Green New Deal is the only plan that holds fossil fuel corporations and executives legally liable for knowingly destroying the environment: Bernie has said that “fossil fuel executives should be criminally prosecuted for the destruction they have knowingly caused.” While Sen. John Cornyn — whose top collective donor is the fossil fuel industry — expressed outrage at this idea, the Huffington Post recently reported that a new YouGov poll found “nearly 62% of voters said they’d support legal liability for energy companies or utilities ‘if it could be proven that they misled the public about the consequences of climate change.’”
• Bernie’s Green New Deal is the only plan that removes the corporate profit motive from electricity production — and makes it green and virtually free after a decade: Unlike other candidates’ plans, Bernie’s Green New Deal doesn’t rely on private utilities that have helped create the climate crisis. Instead, it is the only plan that will expand the federal government’s existing energy-production agencies and make their clean energy virtually free after a decade.
• Bernie’s Green New Deal is the only plan that does not rely on Wall Street schemes to fix the climate crisis Wall Street helped create: Studies show that Wall Street giants have for years been among the largest financial supporters of fossil fuel development. Bernie’s Green New Deal invests directly in renewable energy — and unlike other candidates’ plans, it does not rely on Wall Street behemoths to solve the climate crisis that they helped create and that they still profit from. Instead, it discourages fossil fuel investments by establishing new financial rules that will press hedge funds, private equity funds, insurance companies, and other institutional investors to divest their fossil fuel holdings.
• Bernie’s Green New Deal is the only plan that explicitly details exactly how America will meet United Nations IPCC targets to avert climate catastrophe: Unlike other candidates’ plans, Bernie’s Green New Deal is the only one that shows precisely how it would actually meet emissions reductions that are consistent with the goals of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
• Bernie’s Green New Deal is the only plan that creates 20 million jobs: Bernie’s Green New Deal is not just a plan to fight climate change — it also is a full-employment program that will create far more jobs than plans put forward by any other candidate.
As you watch tonight’s town hall, remember the words of the Sunrise Movement’s Garret Blad, who told CNBC: “Sanders’ plan sets the tone…He sets the bar higher for the other candidates.”
Bern after reading,
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