January 25, 2022

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Rep. Ilhan Omar, Sen. Bernie Sanders Unveil Bill To Strip Fossil Fuel Funding

In the richest and most powerful nation in history, doctors beg for basic protective gear amid a deadly pandemic, 21% of children live in poverty and 84-year-olds take jobs scrubbing motel toilets to survive. 

Yet, as fossil fuel emissions cook the planet and wreak a mounting toll of destruction, the federal government gives oil, gas and coal companies nearly $15 billion per year in direct federal subsidies and already directed billions more in support through coronavirus relief programs this year. 

New legislation from five of the country’s top progressive lawmakers, including Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), aims to cut the fossil fuel industry off, HuffPost has learned. 

On Friday, the lawmakers plan to introduce a bill barring fossil fuel companies from receiving COVID-19 funding, ending federal support for fossil fuel projects at home and abroad, and abolishing dozens of tax loopholes and incentives for the industry. 

“It’s past time we end the billions of taxpayer subsidies to fossil-fuel companies,” Omar said in a statement. “Our focus right now needs to be on getting the American people through this difficult, unprecedented time, not providing giveaways to polluters.”

The bill, dubbed the End Polluter Welfare Act of 2020, is unlikely to gain much traction in Congress, where the House is controlled by business-friendly Democrats and Republicans hold the Senate. Even if it passed against all odds, President Donald Trump, a fossil fuel hard-liner, would almost certainly veto it. 

But the legislation ― co-sponsored in the House by Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-Calif.) and by Sens. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) ― collates the federal fossil fuel support in one place, painting a target on the sources of funding for future legislative efforts.  

The bill also calls for a halt to research spending on fossil fuels and financing for new projects overseas. The authors estimate the legislation would save $150 billion over the next decade, money it would earmark for subsidizing poor Americans’ utility bills and guaranteeing the Black Lung Disability Fund for coal miners. 

“At a time when we are dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and an economic decline, it is absurd to provide billions of taxpayer subsidies that pad fossil-fuel companies’ already-enormous profits,” Sanders said in an emailed statement. “Big Oil made more than $2 trillion in profits over the last two decades. We need more safe, healthy, good paying jobs — not more corporate polluter giveaways.”

Related…

Ilhan Omar Pitches $1 Trillion For Green Public Housing

Bernie Sanders Soared Back To Life. But He Couldn’t Close The Deal.

Biden Rolls Out Ambitious New Climate Plan, But Stops Short Of Phasing Out Fossil Fuels

Also on HuffPost

1st Prize Winner: Fog in Germany by SkyPro

This windmill pair was shot in the early morning hours. The shallow fog had been around for days because of no wind, high humidity and cold temperatures.
This windmill pair was shot in the early morning hours. The shallow fog had been around for days because of no wind, high humidity and cold temperatures.

2nd Prize Winner: Church of Paracatu by Alexandre Salem

The city of Paracatu was vanished by a river of mud, after a mining dam burst at Mariana, Minas Gerais. It was the biggest environmental accident in Brazil’s history.
The city of Paracatu was vanished by a river of mud, after a mining dam burst at Mariana, Minas Gerais. It was the biggest environmental accident in Brazil’s history.

3rd Prize winner: Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia by Yuyusera

Palangkaraya – The most polluted place on earth! This photo was taken on October 4th, 2015 when my friends and I did a campaign called “Kalteng with Love” where we gave free masks, milk and vitamin for the people in the city of Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Thick smoke was hovering over where we live. The particulate meter that day showed that the air was so poluted and reached over 2000 psi. The smoke was caused by the fires in Borneo peatlands that was started from the end of July. For almost three months the people in Borneo had to breathe such toxicating air. There are lots of people who suffered from respiratory problems. Schools off. Flights could not operate. Economic system became paralyzed. Borneo is known as the lungs of the world and the fifth largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, and these fires are not helping. We were even labelled as the most polluted place on earth. Through this photo, I would like to raise the world’s awareness that this matter is a huge problem for all of us. This challenge is addressed not only to people in Borneo and Indonesia, but also to the entire world. Could you imagine if all of the forests in Borneo disappear and there is limitied source of oxygen left for over 7 billion people?
Palangkaraya – The most polluted place on earth! This photo was taken on October 4th, 2015 when my friends and I did a campaign called “Kalteng with Love” where we gave free masks, milk and vitamin for the people in the city of Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Thick smoke was hovering over where we live. The particulate meter that day showed that the air was so poluted and reached over 2000 psi. The smoke was caused by the fires in Borneo peatlands that was started from the end of July. For almost three months the people in Borneo had to breathe such toxicating air. There are lots of people who suffered from respiratory problems. Schools off. Flights could not operate. Economic system became paralyzed. Borneo is known as the lungs of the world and the fifth largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, and these fires are not helping. We were even labelled as the most polluted place on earth. Through this photo, I would like to raise the world’s awareness that this matter is a huge problem for all of us. This challenge is addressed not only to people in Borneo and Indonesia, but also to the entire world. Could you imagine if all of the forests in Borneo disappear and there is limitied source of oxygen left for over 7 billion people?

4th Prize Winner: Wind Power near Berlin by King-Fisher

Wind power from approx. 120m height.
Wind power from approx. 120m height.

5th Prize Winner: Energy Active Office Building, Genk, Belgium by Drone-Partner

Energy ACTIVE office building, about 1100m² floorspace : produce yearly more energy then it consumes ( better then passive house results !). Heating & cooling by deep geothermal heatpump with electric compensation of full integrated PV-solarpanels (BIPV) in 45°-roof. Owner : www.stebo.be Building designed by www.burob.be & www.geertdebruyn.be , construction : www.i3.be BIPV solar roof : http://solar.golden-glass.com/c465.html Drone : Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K
Energy ACTIVE office building, about 1100m² floorspace : produce yearly more energy then it consumes ( better then passive house results !). Heating & cooling by deep geothermal heatpump with electric compensation of full integrated PV-solarpanels (BIPV) in 45°-roof. Owner : www.stebo.be Building designed by www.burob.be & www.geertdebruyn.be , construction : www.i3.be BIPV solar roof : http://solar.golden-glass.com/c465.html Drone : Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K

6th Prize Winner: Holbury, New Forest, UK by Mark Baker

Taken in between two banks of fog in a 2 minute window. Showing the tanks and stacks of Fawley Refinery.
Taken in between two banks of fog in a 2 minute window. Showing the tanks and stacks of Fawley Refinery.

7th Prize Winner: Tiny island in the lake of Galvė by Karolis Janulis

The tiny island in the lake of Galvė looks like a continent and shows us how small our world really is. One tree cut on this island, one nest pulled apart or another kind of intervention will change it beyond our recognition. It is up to us all to make our planet clean and green
The tiny island in the lake of Galvė looks like a continent and shows us how small our world really is. One tree cut on this island, one nest pulled apart or another kind of intervention will change it beyond our recognition. It is up to us all to make our planet clean and green

8th Prize Winner: High Tide in La Jolla, California by Kevin Dilliard

This is a picture of the king high tide crashing against this restaurant on the sand in la jolla shores. the king tide was at the peak in this photo at +7feet . is this a result of higher tides due to global warning.Today many coastal communities are seeing more frequent flooding during high tides. As sea level rises higher over the next 15 to 30 years, tidal flooding is expected to occur more often, cause more disruption, and even render some areas unusable .
This is a picture of the king high tide crashing against this restaurant on the sand in la jolla shores. the king tide was at the peak in this photo at +7feet . is this a result of higher tides due to global warning.Today many coastal communities are seeing more frequent flooding during high tides. As sea level rises higher over the next 15 to 30 years, tidal flooding is expected to occur more often, cause more disruption, and even render some areas unusable .

9th Prize Winner: Dhaka, Bangladesh by Zayedh

A playing field I grew up playing football on… It’s now acquired by the real estate company and they are killed the green of the field, trees providing shadow and building the grey houses on it. It’s a typical depiction of the impact of growing real estate companies in Bangladesh.
A playing field I grew up playing football on… It’s now acquired by the real estate company and they are killed the green of the field, trees providing shadow and building the grey houses on it. It’s a typical depiction of the impact of growing real estate companies in Bangladesh.

10th Prize Winner: Paracatu Cemiterio by Alexandre Salem

After a mining dam bursts, it took almost 3 hours for the mud to reach Paracatu. Fortunately, it gave time for people to abandon their houses and run. The cemitery of Paracatu stays on a small hill, and it was there where many people rushed to protect themselves. And it was from there, that they saw their city being destroyed. There were no fatal victims in the city but the city itself.
After a mining dam bursts, it took almost 3 hours for the mud to reach Paracatu. Fortunately, it gave time for people to abandon their houses and run. The cemitery of Paracatu stays on a small hill, and it was there where many people rushed to protect themselves. And it was from there, that they saw their city being destroyed. There were no fatal victims in the city but the city itself.

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.

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