Democrats Increase Pressure on Climate Change Skeptics

News: Government
by Joe Gallagher  •  •  June 28, 2016   

Platform unanimously votes to investigate fossil fuel corporations that reject manmade climate change

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PHOENIX ( - Democrats are turning up the heat on climate change skeptics and the corporations that fund them. Last Friday, House Democrats voted on a final draft for the Party's platform, including adopting plans by the "Green 20," a group of 17 attorneys general from various states targeting climate change skeptics.

In addition to advancing women's reproductive rights, immigration policy and marijuana laws, the draft, which will go for final approval in early July, states, "Another joint proposal calling on the Department of Justice to investigate alleged corporate fraud on the part of fossil fuel companies who have reportedly misled shareholders and the public on the scientific reality of climate change was also adopted by unanimous consent."

This is following a conference held in late March 2016 by the Green 20, who initiated the attack.

Although the draft does not refer to ExxonMobil directly, this fossil fuel giant is on the radar of every left-wing politician, including New York AG Eric Schneiderman. Schneiderman launched an investigation into Exxon in late 2015. A video of the drafting hearing plays an off-the-cuff comment where ExxonMobil is mentioned with regard to the pursuit of climate change skeptics.

Neera Tanden, CEO of Center for American Progress, who has worked with Hillary Clinton on a multitude of issues since 2008, praised the outcome of the platform and its desire to push the investigation. "It's really vital that we fight against those efforts at the state and local level."

According to reports, Republican AGs issued a response to the draft. "If it is possible to minimize the risks of climate change," Republicans stated, "then the same goes for exaggeration. ... If minimization is fraud, exaggeration is fraud."

In a letter by the Office of the Alabama AG, which opposes the plan, the use of "law enforcement authority to resolve a public policy debate undermines the trust invested in our offices and threatens free speech."

Although endorsement was unanimous for an investigation into fossil fuel companies that reject manmade climate change, other proposals, including a ban on fracking and obtainment of fossil fuel on federal grounds, were voted down.

Some progressives do not find that a desire to phase out fossils fuels by 2050 (and a demand for 50-percent generation of clean electricity within the next decade) is enough.

R.L. Miller, co-founder of Climate Hawks, an organization dedicated to stopping anthropocentric climate change, was among those dissatisfied.

"[W]e're happy that the committee is calling for the United States to be 100 percent powered by clean energy by 2050. However, we don't see how we'll make that bold leap with baby steps," she commented.

Of proposals offered by Bernie Sanders and his representatives, she complained, "[Climate Hawks] is appalled by the incrementalist approach adopted by the majority of the committee in voting down amendments to ban fracking, price carbon and keep fossil fuels in the ground. Incrementalism won't solve the climate crisis."

The draft will undergo a final vote for approval in Orlando, Florida, on July 8 and 9.


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