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Senate Democrat's bill would allow sanctions for 'egregious' actions causing climate change

Senate Democrat's bill would allow sanctions for 'egregious' actions causing climate change
© Greg Nash

Sen. Ed MarkeyEd MarkeyLawmakers commemorate one-year anniversary of Arbery's killing Democrats revive debate over calling impeachment witnesses LIVE COVERAGE: Senate trial moves to closing arguments MORE (D-Mass.) proposed a bill Monday to allow more sanctions against foreign companies and individuals for “egregious behaviors” that contribute to climate change. 

The bill, titled the "Targeting Environmental and Climate Recklessness Act of 2019," would call the president to “prioritize action against, and deterrence of, egregious behaviors that undermine efforts” to stop climate change, according to a press release from Markey’s office.

Markey's proposed bill would permit the president to remove companies’ and individuals’ access to U.S. financial institutions and block visa requests to push other countries to cooperate to combat global warming.

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It would serve as an expansion of the Global Magnitsky Act, an anti-corruption bill used to sanction Russia and North Korea, to allow the sanctions to apply to climate change abuses, such as destroying rainforests or developing new coal plants.

“As we fight to enact a Green New Deal here at home, we must use all of the tools of our foreign policy to change the behavior of companies and individuals most responsible for exacerbating the climate crisis,” Markey said in statement. “This legislation would bring us closer to a complete U.S. global strategy that matches the magnitude of the climate crisis.” 

The bill counters the Trump administration’s efforts to move away from climate-focused policy and asks the U.S. to follow through with its vow to provide $3 billion to the United Nations to help poorer countries survive without climate-damaging coal plants and to develop better infrastructure, txhe HuffPost reported

The bill is Markey’s most recent effort on climate change. The senator also authored the Green New Deal earlier this year. 

Markey will face Rep. Joe KennedyJoseph (Joe) Patrick KennedyFive centrist Democrats oppose Pelosi for Speaker in tight vote LIVE COVERAGE: House votes to name Speaker Government spending bill to include bipartisan energy provisions MORE III (D-Mass.), who is challenging him in the primary, for his Senate seat.