Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), announced that he would vote against a bill to fund government if Democrats include a deal for fast-tracking approval of a fracked-gas pipeline to appease Sen. Joe Manchin (West Virginia).
“Combating climate change is more important than fossil fuel profits. I will not vote for any bill that makes it easier for Big Oil to destroy the planet and that includes approving the Mountain Valley Pipeline,” Sanders wroteFollow us on Twitter. “The Continuing Resolution must not be held hostage by Big Oil.”
Congress will soon be considering a measure that would resurrect and fast track the Mountain Valley Pipeline, a favorite project of Manchin’s and his fossil fuel donors. The pipeline, which would run through West Virginia & Virginia, was already in place. criticizedBy Frontline communitiesAnd climate advocates for its dangerous capacityTo add tens of millions of metric tons more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere each year.
Senate Democrats have saidThey plan to include the pipeline deal into the stopgap funding bill, due at end of month. Though it’s unclear if Sanders’s opposition to the bill would make an impact on its passage, his announcement is a strong rebuke to the deal and the Democrats who have supported it.
Sanders made a speech on Thursday morning on the Senate floor. explained his reasoning, declaring his “strong opposition to the so-called side deal that the fossil fuel industry is pushing to make it easier for them to pollute the environment and destroy our planet.”
The senator went on to warn of the devastating effects of the climate crisis that are happening now and will only worsen if world powers continue polluting, saying that it is “far and away” the most urgent problem facing the country and the world.
He then spoke out about the extensive effects of the climate crisis, which are still ongoing. The Western U.S. is experiencingIt suffered the worst drought in over 1,200 year, while it was also struck by heat wavesThese are breaking records and causing rolling blackouts in California. Over a period of time, however, the blackouts have been sporadic. of just 11 daysPeople across the U.S. experienced at most four flood events this summer. These flood events are rare in America, with a 1 in 1000 chance of occurring in any given year.
“These are supposed to be once in a thousand year torrential rainfalls, and we’re seeing them coming all together in a few weeks,” Sanders exclaimed.
According to the lawmaker, extreme weather events around the globe are causing the deaths of tens and millions of people. Spain and Portugal experience heat waves killed over 2,000 peopleIn July and melted roadsAnd airport runwaysThe U.K. In China, parts of the Yangtze river — the third largest river in the world — dried upDrought
The conditions in Pakistan have been particularly bad. One-third of the country was left homeless as of August. was underwater, displacing an estimated one in seven people in Pakistan — or over 33 million people. According to Sanders, flood events like this could become more common as scientists have found that the “Doomsday” glacier in AntarcticaRegressing much more than anticipated, threatening to 10 feet of sea level riseIn the future.
“In the past, a series of climate disasters like these might have seemed like a silly plot in a bad movie about the apocalypse. Unfortunately, however, what we are living through now is not a movie — it is reality,” Sanders said. Further, he added, “this entire scenario, what we are seeing now, will almost definitely become worse in years to come if the United States, China, and the rest of the world do not get our act together and break our dependency on fossil fuels.”
Sanders said that all of these factors are absurd and suggested that the Senate should not be considering fast-tracking legislation. A pipeline that would increase Big Oil’s profitsTo embed fossil fuel infrastructure.
He stressed that senators have two options: They can listen and listen to scientists, frontline communities, and climate activists asking them to reject the pipeline deal in the United States and reduce the use of fossil-fuels in the country. Or they can listen and learn from the fossil fuel industry which has lied for decades about fossil fuels’ effects in order to increase their profits.
Climate advocates argue that supporting the pipeline side agreement is equivalent to supporting the pipeline. To sideline and subjugating the communities that would be subject to pollution and potential spills along the pipeline’s over 300-mile path. Climate advocates also point out that they have roundly debunked Manchin’s reasoning for the pipeline, saying that there is no good reason for Democrats to pass the measure.
“Today, I beg of my colleagues that at this moment when the future of the world is literally at stake, that at this moment, we have the courage to stand up to the fossil fuel industry and to tell them and the politicians that they sponsor that the future of the planet is more important than their short term profits,” said Sanders.