100% renewable energy bill introduced by Bernie Sanders, 3 more senators - Smart Energy Decisions

Regulation, Regulation  -  April 28, 2017

Senators introduce 100% clean energy by 2050 bill

Four senators, including former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.,  on April 27 introduced a bill that would transition the U.S. to 100% clean energy by 2050. 

Sanders, alongside Sens. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Senator Edward Markey, D-Mass., and Senator Cory Booker, D-N.J., the legislation amid President Donald Trump's efforts to unwind former President Barack Obama's climate protections. The "100 by '50 Act," lays out a roadmap for the transition, and is the first bill introduced in Congress that envisions a fossil fuel free U.S., according to a news release from Merkley's office. 

Merkley, Sanders, and Markey announced the legislation at an event in Washington, D.C., joined by environmental, social justice, business, and labor leaders. Speaking just days ahead of the People's Climate March on Washington, the leaders discussed ways that local and regional governments and organizations can begin to plan the transition to 100% now.

The Washington Post reported:

The 100×50 Act would impose new federal mandates requiring vehicles in the United States to release zero carbon emissions, while barring federal approval of oil and gas pipelines in the country, while also establishing an auction of "climate bonds" that would raise money to support renewable energy projects. The measure would also provide job training for low-income Americans and Americans of color, as well as those in coal communities, to work in the renewable energy sector.

More specifically, the legislation calls to end approvals for major fossil fuel projects like the Keystone XL pipeline and Dakota Access Pipeline, and discontinue fossil fuel subsidies. It also seeks to "ensure American competitiveness" by creating a level playing field for energy-intensive U.S. products by imposing a carbon duty for carbon-intensive products imported from other countries, according to a summary of the bill. 

"The good news is that despite President Trump we are winning this battle," Sanders said April 27. "In Vermont and all over this country, we are seeing communities moving toward energy efficiency and we are seeing the price of renewable energy plummet. Our job is to think big, not small." 

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