Groups pressure Biden to exclude fossil fuel execs from team
More than 100 climate and advocacy groups are asking Joe Biden’s presidential campaign to commit to blocking fossil fuel representatives from its transition team or administration should the former vice president win the election.
“We urge you to ban all fossil fuel executives, lobbyists, and representatives from any advisory or official position on your campaign, transition team, cabinet, and administration,” the groups wrote in a letter to the campaign, which was signed by a mix of 145 environmental groups, progressive organizations, faith-based groups and others.
The letter comes a day after Biden responded to a number of attacks on his energy policies from the Trump team while campaigning in Pennsylvania.
“I am not banning fracking,” the Democratic presidential nominee said. “Let me say that again: I am not banning fracking no matter how many times Donald Trump lies about me.”
Biden’s plan, though the most aggressive ever forwarded by a Democratic nominee, has faced criticism from some environmental and progressive groups who have sought to push his policies further to the left.
It calls for an end to any new oil and gas drilling on public lands, but would still allow drilling elsewhere. He also calls for an investment in clean energy technology and would require net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, meaning any emissions from fossil fuels would need to be offset by reductions elsewhere.
Groups such as youth climate activists Sunrise Movement and Greenpeace, both signers of the letter, argue a Biden administration needs to move away from fossil fuels entirely, both for the sake of the climate and to be responsive to the vulnerable communities most harmed by pollution.
“To advance environmental justice, you must stand up to fossil fuel CEOs, stop the expansion of oil, gas and coal production, and rapidly transition us away from fossil fuels. A Biden administration free of fossil fuel interests would signal your commitment to restoring a government by and for the American people,” the letter states.
Using their guidelines, anyone who served on a fossil fuel industry board or advised the industry should be barred from the administration, along with those who “receive funding from fossil fuel companies to espouse ‘reasonable’ climate positions.”
Their list would also nix “fossil fuel backers on Wall Street, who have attempted to profit off pollution.”