President Obama’s State of the Union Address was very alternative fuel heavy. This lead to a number of applause breaks and in many the camera captured Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders showing his approval. Senator Sanders has been a champion of the alternative fuel movement for a long time and at a recent rally in D.C. Senator Sanders has pledged to introduce federal legislation repealing federal tax breaks to fossil fuel companies.
According to The International Energy Agency phasing out fossil fuel subsidies would save 750 million tonnes (a metric ton) of CO2 every year by the year 2015 and up to 2.6 gigatonnes by 2035.
“One of the absurdities that goes on right here in Washington D.C. is that Congress keeps voting not for the interest of our children, not in the interest of our future, but for the profits of the huge oil and coal companies. … The most profitable corporations in the world do not need subsidies from the American people.”
Another point of interest in President Obama’s State of the Union Address was the mounting federal debt and ways to reduce it. Senator Sanders said at the rally that repealing the federal tax breaks to fossil fuel companies would reduce the federal debt by over $40 billion in the next ten years.
Whether or not federal tax breaks for fossil fuel companies will ever be repealed is anyone’s guess. However, Senator Sanders has had some great accomplishments in the past such introducing the Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act of 2007 and has been known to take a stand and vote his own way, like voting in opposition to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Additionally, Senator Sanders has the honor of being the longest serving Independent member of Congress in American history.
If anyone can make a difference, or at least get the conversation started with the backing of the State of the union Address, it is Senator Sanders.
Andrew Meggison was born in the state of Maine and educated in Massachusetts. Andrew earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Government and International Relations from Clark University and a Master’s Degree in Political Science from Northeastern University. Being an Eagle Scout, Andrew has a passion for all things environmental. In his free time Andrew enjoys writing, exploring the great outdoors, a good film, and a creative cocktail. You can follow Andrew on Twitter @AndrewMeggison