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Boxer and Sanders Introduce Strong Climate Bill. Will Obama Support It?

Barack Obama keeps on promising that, despite years of inaction, while he provided special breaks to encourage more drilling for petroleum and other dirty fossil fuels, he will eventually do something to confront the growing crisis of climate change.

obama on climate changePromises are easy to make. This week, Barack Obama has received the opportunity to finally take action.

On Valentine’s Day, senators Barbara Boxer and Bernard Sanders introduced two bills to deal with climate change and the dangers created by government support for the fossil fuels industry.

Right now, the American people pay the costs of carbon pollution. Individual taxpayers contribute to the price of disaster relief, while the companies that create most of the pollution don’t pay a dime. The Boxer-Sanders bills would change that, shifting some of the tremendous economic cost of carbon dioxide to the ultimate fossil fuel industry sources of that pollution, creating a charge of $20 per ton of carbon dioxide released, an amount to be increased to keep pace with inflation every year. The bills would also increase safeguards on the controversial practice of extraction of natural gas through horizontal fracturing – fracking, and raise 1.2 trillion dollars to pay for improved weatherization of one million homes per year, increased research and development in clean energy alternatives, public-private partnerships in efficient energy and transportation projects, and a clean energy rebate program to give American citizens a share of the carbon fee, actually putting money in Americans’ pockets to help them pay for the damage caused by climate change as a result of the burning of fossil fuels.

The economic stimulation resulting from the development paid for from the carbon fee would be paired with a $300 billion dollar reduction of the federal debt over the next decade alone, and providing additional debt reduction in subsequent years.

The Boxer-Sanders legislation would establish economic stimulus, fiscally responsible debt reduction and slow down the growth of climate change.

So, here’s the test for Barack Obama: There is now a strong climate bill in Congress. Will President Obama declare his support for the legislation, and push the Democratic leadership in the Senate to bring the bill to a full floor vote… or will President Obama allow the climate legislation to wither, the way he did last time?

Of course, Barack Obama isn’t the only person being tested by the legislation introduced by Bernard Sanders and Barbara Boxer. You are being tested too. Will you take the time to call your two senators and tell them you want them to cosponsor and vote for the Climate Protection Act and the Sustainable Energy Act, or will you ignore the bills and allow them to wither?

1 comment to Boxer and Sanders Introduce Strong Climate Bill. Will Obama Support It?

  • Tom

    Obama is not a leader in the sense that he forges ahead with progressive or improving legislation. He’s more of a lay back and see what the corporate attitude is, assess what he can get away with in regards to the public, and then makes a move. Despite protests and letters to do something about climate change, he doesn’t see the criticality of needed action and will wait to see how it goes in the legislature, then, should something pass, he’ll make himself look good by passing it. Of course, if the Keystone XL lobbyists dump tons of money on the legislature, it’s likely not to get very far.

    i think i’m the most disappointed in Steven Chu, the nobel prize winning scientist and Obama’s energy
    secretary, until he resigned recently, who definitely knew what we’re up against with climate change and how our continuing inaction amounts to criminal negligence, but did nothing about it (as far as i know – hey, maybe all his advise was ignored).

    There’s a movement afoot to begin geo-engineering (which they’ve been doing for years now with
    “cloud seeding”) in the form of a space umbrella and dumping sulphur compounds into the atmosphere and maybe iron particles into the oceans to combat the climate change that everyone’s been denying all this time. i don’t know who gets to “green light” this, but it’s not a good idea (especially since we’ve messed up the environment with our meddling to the point that we’re looking at near term extinction as a result) because it’s only to allow us to continue doing the same fossil fuel based living we’ve been doing since the Industrial Revolution (which has lead us to our predicament).
    It looks like desperation to me.

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