Draft Dem platform rejects Keystone, calls for fossil fuel ‘phase down’

Draft Dem platform rejects Keystone, calls for fossil fuel ‘phase down’

The Democratic National Committee’s draft 2016 platform, released Friday, backs the rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline and seeks a “phase down” of fossil fuel production on federal lands. 

The platform says the party “support[s] President Obama’s decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline,” an action he took last year despite opposition from the oil industry and some labor unions. 

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In a nod to the “keep it in the ground” anti-fossil fuel activists who gravitated toward Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSanders expected to announce exploratory committee next week Bernie Sanders records announcement video ahead of possible 2020 bid Bill Maher to Dems: ‘Let’s not eat our own’ in 2020 MORE’ presidential campaign, the platform says it wants to “phase down extraction of fossil fuels from our public lands, starting with the most polluting sources, while making our public lands and waters engines of the clean energy economy and creating jobs across the country.” 

The platform also endorses a goal of getting 50 percent of electricity from clean sources within a decade, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050.

The platform corresponds with much of what presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders expected to announce exploratory committee next week Bernie Sanders records announcement video ahead of possible 2020 bid Overnight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants MORE has said on the campaign trail. While Sanders campaigned hard on more liberal environmental policies — including ending fossil fuel production on federal land and a national ban on hydraulic fracturing — Clinton has resisted that push, saying instead that the next president only needs to grow on the climate and energy work President Obama has undertaken. 

The platform also says “clean air and clean water are the basic rights of All Americans,” and calls the lead contamination problems in Flint, Mich. an example of “environmental racism."

It calls for economic support for coal mining communities hurt by a downturn in the commodity and federal investigations into claims fossil fuel companies mislead the public on climate science. 

The Democratic platform committee voted down a handful of climate-related amendments from Sanders appointees, including a call to ban fracking and institute a price on carbon pollution.