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Coalition of progressive groups call on Democrats in new Congress to reject fossil fuel money, push bold and aggressive climate policies

WASHINGTON – As Democrats vie for leadership positions in the new Congress, 47 progressive groups released a letter today demanding that candidates for House leadership posts pledge to reject fossil fuel money. The letter calls for a Green New Deal that will move America to a 100 percent renewable energy society, center communities on the frontlines of climate impacts, and invest in renewable energy while embarking on a managed decline of fossil fuel production and ending subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. In order to effectively lead on a Green New Deal and make a just transition away from fossil fuels, the letter calls for prospective leaders of the new House to declare themselves fossil fuel money-free.

“Climate change is the greatest threat we’re facing,” said Lukas Ross, Senior Policy Analyst with Friends of the Earth. “We cannot tackle this crisis if our politicians are still accepting money from the corporate polluters who are intent on destroying communities and our environment for a profit. It is time for all Democrats to sign the no fossil fuel money pledge, and fully commit themselves to a 100% renewable energy future that protects all people and the planet.”

“With over 1000 politicians rejecting fossil fuel money, real climate leadership definitively means no fossil fuel ties,” said May Boeve, Executive Director of 350.org. “For any shot at averting further climate catastrophe, all elected officials must say no to fossil fuels and fight for a Green New Deal that puts people and planet first. It’s not enough to acknowledge the reality of climate change — we need  officials who walk the talk and support equitable solutions to this global crisis.”

“To preserve human civilization as we know it, top UN scientists say we need to transform our economy and society in the next 12 years,” said Varshini Prakash, Sunrise Movement Co-Founder and Communications Director. “Yet, politicians of both parties are putting the bottom-lines of their campaign donors above my generation’s future. Young people need bold leaders who will reject fossil fuel money and back a Green New Deal — and we’re ready to challenge politicians of both parties who refuse to stand with us.”

“Our climate crisis requires leaders who are willing to stand up to an industry that has spent decades and millions of dollars lying to the public, distorting our democracy, and delaying climate action,” said David Turnbull, Strategic Communications Director at Oil Change USA. “We have no more time for delay or half-measures, or for politicians who are in the pocket of an out-of-control industry. We need true leaders who will stand up for our communities, ramp down our fossil fuel production, and fight for real climate solutions.”

Contacts: Erin Jensen, Friends of the Earth, (202) 222-0722, ejensen@foe.org
David Turnbull, Oil Change USA, (202) 316-3499, david@priceofoil.org
Stephen O’Hanlon, Sunrise, (610) 955-7398, stephen@sunrisemovement.org
Thanu Yakupitiyage, 350.org, (413) 687 5160, thanu@350.org

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