WASHINGTON, June 18 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today welcomed Pope Francis’ encyclical on climate change and praised the pontiff for urging world leaders to boldly address the planetary crisis.
“Pope Francis’ powerful message on climate change should change the debate around the world and become a catalyst for the bold actions needed to reverse global warming. The pope helps us all see how those with the least among us will fare the worst from the consequences of climate change. I very much appreciate that the Republican leadership has invited the pope to address Congress. I hope they listen to what he has to say. Denying the science related to climate change is no longer acceptable.”
A member of the Senate environment and energy committees, Sanders is one of the leading voices in Congress on climate change. His proposal for a carbon tax to discourage the use of coal and oil and other fossil fuels has been called “the gold standard” of climate change legislation by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), the environment committee chairman.
He also has proposed major investments in clean, renewable energy. And on Earth Day this year, Sanders and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) introduced legislation to eliminate tax breaks and other subsidies for the fossil fuels industry.