I wanted to make sure you saw my message from last week. Congressional Republicans are begging to hold hearings on a new budget for the U.S. government. But they're completely ignoring the best ideas from President Obama's budget - specifically his plan to tax fossil fuels, eliminate Big Oil's tax subsidies and invest in climate action and clean energy.
Obama's big, bold climate action budget has basically forced into the open a series of fights that Speaker Paul Ryan had hoped to sweep under the rug.* Now that they're in the open, Congressional committees are grilling every Obama cabinet member from Energy Secretary Earnest Moniz (three hearings this week alone) to Interior Secretary Sally Jewel (two hearings this week).
These climate deniers and defeatists are scheduling dozens of hearings on Obama's last budget, but can't spare an hour to #ActOnClimate (or even talk about it). Sign here to tell Congress: Inaction is not an option - give Obama’s climate change ideas a budget vote!
Drew and the budget busters at Environmental Aciton
* Jennifer Steinhauer, Paul Ryan’s Budget Strategy Collides With Conservatives’ Demands, New York Times, February 10, 2016
President Obama’s last budget, unveiled last week, is a positive, $4.1 trillion plan that actually Acts On Climate.1
Specifically Obama’s #ActOnClimate budget:
- Levies a $10/barrel tax on crude oil and invests $20 billion in alternative transportation options like high speed rail.2
- Eliminates $39 billion of special tax breaks for Big Oil companies.2
- Invests $750 million to help frontline communities around the world adapt to climate impacts.2
The bad news is that Congressional Republicans pronounced this budget “Dead on Arrival” before they’d even had a chance to read it. Speaking of the Oil Tax in particular, House Majority Whip Steve Scalise said “The president will try anything he can—even stretch the limits of his power—to keep American-made energy trapped in the ground. But we won’t let that happen.”3
Actually, leaving fossil fuels in the ground and investing in clean energy instead is EXACTLY the kind of action we need right now. Sign here to tell Congress: Inaction is not an option - give Obama’s #ActOnClimate budget a vote!
I’ll be honest, getting Congressional Republicans to hold a hearing on this big, bold, climate action budget is not going to be easy. But it is possible:
Congress has to pass a budget every year, and this Congress will want to get it over and done before the Fall, when most members have to return home to campaign for re-election.4 Our best shot at a vote is during the Senate “vote-a-rama” -- an annual tradition that allows any Senator to attach lots of amendments to the budget bill and get a quick up or down vote on the idea -- no filibusters, gimmicks or dodges allowed.5
But if we want to make sure Obama’s best ideas - like a $10/barrel tax on oil, and end to fossil fuel subsidies, and a big investment in clean energy, transportation and the Green Climate Fund are included, we need to start right now. That way, when spring rolls around, we’ll have enough grassroots support to demand a hearing or a vote of these ideas. Sign here to tell Congress: Inaction is not an option - give Obama’s #ActOnClimate budget a vote!
Thanks for putting your money where our climate action is,
Drew and the #ActOnClimate Budget crew at Environmental Action
1 - Sarah Ferris and Jordan Fabian, Obama unveils $4.1T election-year budget, The Hill, February 9, 2016
2 - Michael Grunwald, Obama to propose $10-a-barrel oil tax, Politico, February 4, 2016
3 - Ian Hanchett, GOP Rep Scalise: Obama’s Oil Tax ‘Dead on Arrival,’ He’ll Do Anything To Keep US Energy In the Ground, Breitbart news, February 13, 2016
4 - Wikipedia, United States budget process
5 - David Graham, What on Earth Is a Vote-a-Rama?, The Atlantic, March 22, 2013