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Senator Bernie Sanders: 80% by 2050 isn’t enough

March 11th, 2009 · No Comments

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) spoke this morning at the release of a Greenpeace Energy [R]evolution report that lays out, using quite conservative estimates, how “the United States can meet the energy needs of a growing economy and achieve science-based cuts in global warming pollution – without nuclear power or coal.” And, do so not just cost-effectively, but profitably.

The details of that report and of the discussion surrounding it will be the basis of a separate post, but there is one item from Senator Sanders Q&A that merits emphasis. Senator Sanders talked about hwo, virtually every day, there are hearings and scientist stating that the situation is dire. That Senators are hearing from IPCC leaders and participants “forget what we told you two years ago. We were wrong. The situation is far worse.” In light of that, the question:

Q: The Sanders-Boxer bill used to be considered the strongest legislation with an 80 percent reduction from 1990 levels by 2050 was the most aggressive Global Warming bill in the last session of the US Senate. In light of what you are hearing, is that aggressive enough?

A. I think probably not.

Q. Can we expect to see you introduce legislation that would be adequate?

A. The difference is now that we’re working with the Obama people. The political world has changed. But, the answer is yes. If the question is whether we need to go further than we were two years ago, the answer is yes.

Might we be able to expect introduced legislation calling for a “climate-friendly America” by 2050? A carbon-neutral (and more prosperous) economy?

A later questioner asked whether Obama’s targets for 2020 (bringing US to, essentially, 1990 levels by then) is aggressive enough. Without directly addressing the targets. Sanders discuss the major difference of moving from the fossil-foolish Bush Administration to the Obama Administration. “I think that the President has shown he is serious about this. This is something that he easily could have walked away from and he hasn’t. …. Follow the money. He’s investing in all the right things.”


Senator Bernie Sanders: How to Solve Global Warming for Twice the Jobs and Half the Cost from Greenpeace USA on Vimeo.

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Tags: climate change · climate legislation · Congress · emissions · environmental · Global Warming · government energy policy