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Friday, September 9, 2016
From our well respected Senator Jeff Merkley in Oregon
The first rule of holes is this: when you’re in one, stop digging. Climate change has devastated our farming, fishing, and forest economies for too long and fossil fuel energy sources continue to make that hole deeper.
Earlier this summer, I hosted a panel at the Netroots Nation Annual Conference to discuss meaningful environmental solutions such as the Keep It in the Ground Act, legislation I introduced last November that would end all new fossil fuel leases on federal public lands and waters. This proposed legislation would keep over 90 percent of the potential carbon emissions from oil, gas and coal on our federal lands and federal waters from being emitted into the atmosphere and contributing to climate change.
In my opening comments at the panel, I announced my next major initiative to combat climate change: phasing out the use of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas by 2050. In the next several months, I will introduce legislation that clearly lays out the path to move our country away from fossil fuels and towards a 100 percent clean and renewable energy future by 2050.
As we approach the harsh reality of global warming, it’s becoming more and more clear every day: today’s fossil fuel economy will not sustain our environment or our economy for much longer. The impacts of a warming planet are affecting our communities, our economy, our health, and our safety.
Some will say that it’s too hard, that we can’t do it. I vehemently disagree. America has shown over and over that if we commit our ingenuity and political will to something, we can change the world. It’s time for that same kind of national commitment and to revolutionize how we use and generate energy.