Diverging views: Sanders and Clinton on climate change. By Dr. Timmons Roberts. Democrat candidates both agree global warming is a pressing issue, but their plans to tackle the issue are significantly different. Click here to read more.
Bernie Gets Environmental Racism: Sanders’ platform on environmental justice shows he puts people before profits. Click here to read more.
Indigenous environmental youth activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez endorses Bernie. Click here to read more.
Bernie Sanders Is the Only Presidential Candidate With a Plan to Empower Native Americans. Click here to read more.
10 Seattle Women on why they support Bernie. Click here to read more.
A Chicano musical band has written a corridor (folk ballad) dedicated to Bernie. This is an honor within Mexican popular culture. Click here to listen.
Bernie’s current campaign platform on Racial Justice recognizes that “People of color disproportionately experience a daily assault on their health and environment. Communities of color are the hardest hit by air and water pollution from industrial factories, power plants, incinerators, chemical waste and lead contamination from old pipes and paint. At the same time, they lack access to parks, gardens and other recreational green space.” For Bernie, “access to a clean and healthy environment is a fundamental right of citizenship. To deny such rights constitutes an environmental injustice that should never be tolerated.”
In order to achieve environmental justice, his campaign is calling for the equal enforcement of environmental, civil rights and public health laws, as well as the cleanup of Superfund hazardous waste sites in communities of color. He is also calling for an end to the unequal exposure of people of color to harmful chemicals, pesticides and other toxins in homes, schools, neighborhoods and workplaces and challenge faulty assumptions in calculating, assessing and managing risks, discriminatory zoning and land-use practices and exclusionary policies. To this end, he believes the Federal government can promote cleaner manufacturing processes, renewable energy systems and safe product designs that end pollution and the use of toxic chemicals, while providing safe jobs and other economic benefits for people of color. Furthermore, he would demand that Federal agencies must develop and implement clear, strategic plans to achieve climate and environmental justice and provide targeted action where the needs are greatest.
In December of 2015, Bernie released his campaign platform for Combating Climate Change to Save the Planet. As part of the plan, he states that “the financial cost of climate change makes it an economic issue, its effect on clean air and water quality make it a public health problem, its role in exacerbating global conflict and terrorism makes it a national security challenge and its disproportionate impacts on vulnerable communities and on our children and grandchildren make acting on climate change a moral obligation. We have got to solve this problem before it’s too late.”
Bernie’s campaign platform on climate change is also the only plan provided by any of the major candidates to address the needs of workers and vulnerable communities in our transition to a clean energy economy, and is also the only campaign calling for a progressive carbon tax. This bold plan outlines exactly how Bernie intends to make the emissions reductions we need, and he does it in a way that takes people into account. He’s incorporated the voices of young people, workers, and low-income communities and people of color.
As part of his climate change platform, he would create a national environmental and climate justice plan that recognizes the heightened public health risks faced by low-income and minority communities. See his climate change platform for more details.
The Presidential Race and Environmental Racism: Flint Water Crisis Center Stage at Democratic Debate
Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!: The race for the Democratic nomination intensified this weekend as Sen. Bernie Sanders beat Hillary Clinton at caucuses in Maine, Kansas and Nebraska, while Clinton easily won in Louisiana. On Sunday night, the candidates faced off in a debate in Flint, Michigan, where they laid out their plans for addressing the water crisis afflicting the city.
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Native American tribes experience a host of environmental and social injustices that must be immediately addressed. Bernie has led a number of efforts to address these injustices.
Bernie led the fight against the Keystone XL Pipeline since Day One. He is also the only presidential candidate to publicly oppose the tar sands oil Alberta Clipper pipeline in Minnesota, the fracked oil Sandpiper line in Minnesota, the fracked oil Bakken pipeline in Iowa, and the fracked gas line in New Hampshire.
Bernie introduced the Save Oak Flat Act with Rep. Grijalva in the House of Representatives to repeal a federal lands transfer of a sacred place in Arizona to a foreign mining company.
Bernie voted to make the Indian Health Care Improvement Act permanent and expand health care services for Native Americans as a provision of the Affordable Care Act.
Bernie’s proposed Climate Justice Resiliency Fund, which is paid for by a tax on carbon, would make climate adaptation investments in low-income and minority communities, including tribes, to help build resilience to the extreme impacts of climate change.
Bernie’s Low Income Solar Act of 2015 would invest $200 million in loans and grants to offset the upfront costs for solar on community facilities, public housing, and low-income family homes including Native Hawaiian, Alaska Native, and federally recognized tribes.
AS PRESIDENT, BERNIE WILL FIGHT TO STRENGTHEN TRIBAL NATIONS BY:
As president, Bernie will call attention to the pressing needs in Vieques, Puerto Rico, including environmental clean-up, raising the quality of life and health on the island, and improving socioeconomic development. The alarming rates of cancer and other serious health conditions on Vieques due to environmental damage must be addressed and remediated. As one of the poorest municipalities in Puerto Rico, Vieques must have access to the same economic development opportunities as the rest of Puerto Rico. It is also important to continue to honor the role of David Sanes Rodriguez and Robert Rabin in the ultimate end to the bombings on the island’s beaches after more than 60 years of live-fire bombing practices.
In early August 2015, Sanders introduced an environmental-justice amendment in the Senate calling for a “national environmental and climate justice climate change plan,” in order to resolve “the disproportionate impacts of air pollution to low-income and minority communities. The amendment was in response to legislation that would effectively block President Obama’s effort to curb greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants, a key pillar of the White House climate agenda. The amendment calls on Congress to affirm a wide array of statistics pointing to the heightened public health risks faced by African-Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians and Alaska natives as a result of air pollution. Upon endorsing him this summer, Friends of the Earth Action cited his “bold ideas and real solutions to addressing climate change, inequality and promoting a transformative economy that prioritizes public health and the environment over corporate profits.”
In July of 2015, the senator also proposed legislation to expand access to solar power in low-income communities by providing grants and loans to low-income people to install solar panels on their homes. This bill would help to lower electric bills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help foster more democratic control over energy production and distribution.
More recently, Bernie unveiled new legislation to ban the extraction of coal, oil, and natural gas on public lands in the United States. The “Keep it in the Ground Act” is a direct challenge to the Obama administration’s failure to restrict fossil fuel production at its source, and could prove especially beneficial to people of color and lower-income residents residing in energy extraction zones. It would end new leases for drilling both on and offshore, including in the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans. Introduced with much fanfare in front of the US Capitol, Bernie also enlisted a handful of Democratic co-sponsors, an indication that his ideas are finding a home among the progressive left in Congress. Click here to read more on The Leap.
Bernie introduced the Senate companion to a Grijalva bill to overturn a disastrous land exchange that hurt the San Carlos Apache’s rights and other tribes in Arizona. It was a huge giveaway of federal land to a foreign copper company. Read more about the bill here.
In response to the lead poisoning crisis in Flint, Michigan, a post-industrial city that is 40 percent black and becoming increasingly poor, Bernie has recently demanded that Governor Snyder resign, saying that thousands of children may now suffer brain damage from lead because the governor knew about the problem and did nothing for months to fix it.
The Executive Order on Environmental Justice
President Bill Clinton issued an Executive Order on Environmental Justice in 1994 requiring the EPA and other federal agencies to address the disproportionate environmental impacts of their decisions and programs on communities of color and low-income communities. However, environmental justice advocates argue the executive order has never truly been implemented. In 2005, Senator Sanders introduced legislation to enhance the executive order and require it to remain in force.
Pres. Candidate Bernie Sanders Shares Stage with Native Organizer Tara Houska. Read more here.