Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders just appointed one of his most ardent supporters, environmental activist Bill McKibben, to sit on the committee charged with writing the Democratic Party’s official platform.
McKibben is probably America’s most vocal critic of coal, gas and oil companies, at one time saying fossil fuel companies “have more power than God.” He’s been arrested protesting the Keystone XL pipeline at the White House and has written op-eds in favor of keeping all fossil fuels in the ground.
He’s even called President Barack Obama a “climate denier” for not completely banning Arctic oil drilling.
Republican campaigners have slammed Sanders for appointing McKibben to the DNC committee, arguing the veteran environmentalist has pushed for increased gas taxes, keeping fossil fuels in the ground and even telling people they should only have one child.
“Putting Bill McKibben on the platform committee represents just how far outside the mainstream the Democratic Party has moved,” Jeremy Adler, the former press secretary for Florida Sen. [crscore]Marco Rubio[/crscore]’s presidential bid, said in a statement.
Now, McKibben has thrown his intellectual weight to vilify ExxonMobil.
McKibben has joined other activists in claiming Exxon orchestrated a mass campaign of deception to lie to the public about global warming, and has backed a federal investigation of the company.
It’s not too surprising, however, that Sanders tapped McKibben to craft the DNC platform.
Like Sanders, McKibben is a fellow Vermonter. He’s been harping on the supposed evils of fossil fuels for decades, and has been the main intellectual force behind efforts to derail major energy projects, like the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
His environmental group 350.org helped create the current movement to get universities and pensions to divest from coal, gas and oil companies. McKibben was also a writer for The New Yorker magazine and has a gig at Middlebury College.
McKibben has supported Sanders’ presidential bid and they share many of the same far-left positions on the environment, including banning hydraulic fracturing, getting rid of fossil fuels and going after energy companies they see as spreading disbelief in man-made global warming.
“Should the DOJ muster its courage to go after this most profitable and connected of companies, the roadmap is already well laid out by the two investigations,” McKibben wrote in The Nation last year as Sanders called for the Justice Department to investigate Exxon over its global warming stance.
McKibben even authored an email on behalf of the Sanders campaign, slamming ABC News debate moderators for not asking a single question about global warming. He called the debate “a disappointment for anyone who cares about the future of the planet.”
McKibben also attacked presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s energy policy and plan to tackle global warming. He doesn’t think the former secretary of state goes far enough in eschewing fossil fuels.
The Clinton campaign’s continued insistence that natural gas is a ‘bridge fuel’ is a disservice to the science. Please stop. #demdebate
— Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) April 15, 2016
Now, McKibben will have influence over the Democratic Party’s official platform. It likely means a party platform that’s going to be farther to the left when it comes to energy and environment policies.
“The continued take over the Democratic Party by the Environmentalist Left and other extreme groups poses a serious threat to those who remain supporters of free markets, free enterprise and the American way of life.” said Adler, who now works for the Republican super PAC America Rising.
Sanders was obviously happy with the influence his appointees have over the DNC’s platform.
“We believe that we will have the representation on the platform drafting committee to create a Democratic platform that reflects the views of millions of our supporters who want the party to address the needs of working families in this country and not just Wall Street, the drug companies, the fossil fuel industry and other powerful special interests,” he said in a statement.
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