The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is sending a clear message to American voters: if you want a government that addresses climate change, vote for us.
Over the weekend, the DNC made a huge commitment to the environmental cause, voting unanimously to ban financial contributions from the fossil fuel industry.
"This is going to be the way that we ask people to make some clear choices, so voters know what they're getting," said Christine Pelosi, a member of the DNC Executive Committee who proposed the resolution.
"When you talk the talk and walk the walk, that's how you're going to inspire people."
Walking the walk means that the DNC will now no longer take donations from political action committees (PACs) associated with fossil fuels.
The resolution acknowledges that, "Fossil fuel corporations are drowning our democracy in a tidal wave of dark oily money; they have deceived the public about the impacts of climate change, fought the growth of clean renewable energy, and corrupted our political system."
The DNC is also considering a ban on all donations from the fossil fuel industry that are more than $200, The Huffington Post reports.
"So if Eddie Exxon is your college buddy and a frat-boy friend of yours and he's employed at an Exxon gas station and wishes to donate $25 to have a barbecue and a beer with you, fine," said co-author of the resolution RL Millers.
"But if Edward J. Exxon in Exxon's middle management thinks you're worth contributing $2,700 to out of his own salary, that is much more concerning to us."
The decision is a win for Pelosi, who last year tried and failed to convince the DNC to reinstate the prohibition of PAC and lobbyist contributions. The rule was introduced by President Obama and then removed shortly before the 2016 election.
But divesting from fossil fuels is a lot easier (and a hell of a lot cheaper) than banning all PAC and lobbyist donations.
In 2016, the DNC received $56.1 million in donations from the finance and real estate sectors. That same year, the energy and natural resources sectors donated only $2.6 million.
Plus, in non-presidential election years, the DNC receives even less money from the fossil fuel industry.
By May of this year, the DNC had only collected $186,100 from the energy and natural resource sectors. In 2016, the DNC received $2.6 million from the energy and natural resource sectors.
These numbers pale in comparison to the Republican party, which received nearly 90 percent of oil and gas contributions and 97 percent of coal donations in the 2016 election.
The DNC's new resolution sets the two parties even further apart on environmental and energy issues. In fact, the Republican party is on a whole other trajectory. President Trump has promised to bring back coal, and recently, the Trump administration announced they would bailing out failing coal and nuclear power plants.
The Democratic party is giving voters something completely different, no doubt in an attempt to coax younger voters and the majority of Americans that accept the reality of human-caused climate change.
Bill McKibben, the co-founder of 350.org, said it was a sign that "the social license of big oil is being steadily revoked." His organization, 350.org, said, "This is what winning looks like, folks."
Very good to see the Democrats decide not to take money from the fossil fuel companies. The social license of big oil is being steadily revokedhttps://t.co/q39YsKLrnw— Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) June 13, 2018