Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Representative Keith Ellison, D-Minn., introduced legislation Thursday aimed at repealing U.S. subsidies to the oil, gas and coal industries.
"Our legislation is the most comprehensive ever introduced," Sanders told reporters at a press briefing and rally outside the Capitol Building. "It ends all tax breaks, special financing arrangements, and federal research and development funding."
The bill, the End Polluter Welfare Act, would do away with $113 billion in subsidies over 10 years.
At the rally, environmental and consumer protection groups 350.org, Taxpayers for Common Sense, Friends of the Earth, Sierra Club and Defenders of Wildlife, Oil Change International and Earth Justice showed solidarity with the two lawmakers.
"It is unconscionable that anyone is talking about cutting programs that make up the core of our social safety net, like Social Security and Medicaid, while we continue to give out billions of dollars each year to some of the world's largest and most profitable corporations," Friends of the Earth's Tax Analyst Ben Schreiber said in a statement.
"It's bad enough that the fossil fuel industry is doing severe damage to our climate - but that we're paying them tax dollars to do it adds insult to injury," 350.org founder Bill McKibben said, according to a Sanders press release.
350.org also launched an online signature drive in support of the bill.
According to Sanders' press release, "the measure would do away with tax breaks, financial assistance, royalty relief, direct federal research and development and many loopholes that benefit the fossil fuel industry."
by RTT Staff Writer
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