If U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders has his way, major fossil fuel companies would face new taxes, many of those same companies would see tax subsidies evaporate, and “green” energy companies would get a boost, all in an effort to combat climate change.
Sanders, I-Vt., said legislation he plans to introduce in mid-February would tax large swaths of the fossil fuel energy industry and boost investments in alternative energy and energy efficiency.
He said action is crucial as the effects of climate change escalate. Sanders used Superstorm Sandy, the record heat and bush fires in Australia this month and the fact that 2012 was by far the warmest year on record in the continental United States, as evidence climate change is worsening and needs to be addressed quickly.
Climate change is a “huge, huge crisis, and needs bold action to deal with it,” Sanders said Thursday morning. He said the problem presents enormous challenges, especially to the next generation of Americans.
Sanders said his position on the Senate environment and energy committees makes him well positioned to advocate for the legislation. However, he said he has no illusions that it would be easy to push his bill forward, given resistance among some Republicans to taxes, and the sense among some conservatives that climate change is not a serious problem, or a hoax, Sanders said.