Saturday, April 4, 2020

Merkley bill calls for end to federal leasing of fossil fuel extraction on public lands

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), with the support of six fellow legislators and environmental advocates, recently introduced a bill to prevent federal leases for fossil fuel extraction from public lands, called the Keep It in the Ground Act.

“Climate change is already impacting our world through greater forest fires and droughts, with serious effects on our farming, fishing and forest economies,” Merkley said. “The main cause is carbon pollution, and the impacts will only get worse in the coming decades if we keep burning fossil fuels unchecked.”

Merkley emphasized the potential for job creation in the renewable energy sector calling for this to be a “green and blue movement.” He is joined by co-sponsors U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

“We are taking on the Koch brothers and some of the most powerful political forces in the world who are more concerned with short-term profits than the future of the planet,” Sanders said. “I’ve got four kids and I’ve got seven beautiful grandchildren. We have a moral responsibility to leave our kids a planet that is healthy and inhabitable."

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U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley

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