Climate Amendments Considered By Democratic Platform Drafting Committee: Incrementalism Outvotes Urgency
CARBON TAX (rejected) : “Carbon and other greenhouse gases should be taxed at a level high enough to transition away from fossil fuel consistent with the goals established in Paris in 2015.”
FRACKING BAN (rejected) : “We call for a full national moratorium on fracking.”
KEEP IT IN THE GROUND (rejected) : “Democrats believe that the United States should lead the global community in keeping over 80% of all known reserves of fossil fuels in the ground. Democrats agree that the next President of the United States should not grant new leases for fossil fuel extraction on federal lands and waters nor renewing existing leases at their expiration.”
PHASE DOWN (adopted) : “We can phase down extraction of fossil fuels from our public lands, starting with the most polluting sources, while making our public lands and water an engine of a clean-energy economy, creating jobs across the country.”
FOSSIL-FUELED EMINENT DOMAIN (rejected) : “Democrats believe government should not aid private companies with eminent domain to build fossil-fuel infrastructure in the United States.”
WALK-BIKE (adopted) : “And by expanding bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure across our urban and suburban areas.”
CLEAN ENERGY ACCESS (adopted) : “Work to expand access to low-cost clean energy to low-income households and oppose efforts by utilities to slow clean-energy deployment.”
CLIMATE TEST (rejected) : Insert after “Keystone XL pipeline”: “—and we believe the same test that he applied in that case, whether or not new infrastructure would ‘significantly exacerbate’ global warming, should be adopted across federal agencies.”
EXXON KNEW (adopted) : “Democrats agree that the US Department of Justice should investigate alleged corporate fraud by fossil fuel companies for any efforts to deceive the American people about the dangers of climate change. We respectfully request the Department investigate these allegations and take appropriate action should the investigation yield evidence of wrongdoing.”
100% ‘CLEAN’ ENERGY (adopted) : “…reducing greenhouse gas emissions more than 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050 and meeting the pledge President Obama put forth in the landmark Paris agreement to keep temperature rise below 2 degrees and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees. We believe America must be running on clean energy entirely by mid-century.”
Beginning on Wednesday, the Democratic Party plans to hold a two-day forum in Washington DC to solicit public testimony on the national platform. Details on when and where the forum will take place were released to press on Saturday. The forum was announced on May 27.
On Wednesday, June 8th and Thursday, June 9th at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C., the 2016 Democratic Platform Drafting Committee will hold the first in a series of regional events. The forum is broken up into three thematic sessions, the first beginning at 1:30 pm on Wednesday and scheduled to go to 5 pm. Thursday has two sessions scheduled, a morning session from 9 am to 12 pm, and and afternoon session from 1 pm to 5 pm.
Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Platform Drafting Chair Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), and Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) CEO, Rev. Leah D. Daughtry will deliver opening remarks at the forum. The Drafting Committee will then hear from policy experts and other Democrats, chosen from people who have applied to testify.
The schedule for Wednesday involves one afternoon session entitled “Leveling the Playing Field: Creating Opportunity and Removing Barriers.” Thursday morning is “Moving America Forward: Education, Jobs, and the Economy,” and the afternoon is “America’s Role in the World.”
Although there are not explicit references to climate, energy, and the environment in the session titles, it is expected to come up in public testimony.
The Platform Drafting Committee includes two prominent environmentalists, one chosen by each campaign. Bill McKibben, the founder of 350.org, was selected by the Sanders campaign. Carol Browner, the former EPA Administrator under Clinton’s husband, and the chair of the League of Conservation Voters (which endorsed Hillary Clinton last fall), was selected by the Clinton campaign. Browner works for the international lobbying and consulting firm Albright Stonebridge Group.
See below for the full press release: