By Tim Pearce
A group of environmentalists disrupted a Democratic National Committee (DNC) gathering to protest party leaders’ decision to overturn a ban on accepting funds from fossil fuel companies and related groups.
Democrats and environmentalists have grown increasingly antagonistic toward the fossil fuel industry as a part of the battle against climate change. Activists have convinced many, from politicians to religious institutions, to sever financial ties to oil and gas groups.
The DNC followed suit in June, voting unanimously to ban donations from corporate political action committees that were involved in the fossil fuel industry. Two months later on Aug. 10, the DNC reversed the ban in 30-2 vote.
Environmentalists shared their feelings about the decision with Democrat leaders Thursday, disrupting a DNC meeting with a chant to “reject fossil fuel money, [and] dare to lead.”
Protestors briefly interrupted the DNC’s Resolutions Committee meeting to urge the DNC, through song, to reinstate @sfpelosi’s measure that bars fossil fue industry corporate PAC money. Fair amount of applause as they walked out. pic.twitter.com/0dZO19pdus
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) August 23, 2018
After the DNC reversed course on the fossil fuel donations ban, DNC chairman Tom Perez said the original decision conflicted with party values and alienated some sections of the “working class.”
“We have to draw the line that we are indeed a party of a big tent where all working people are welcome,” Perez said in a statement.
Environmentalists immediately hit back at the DNC’s reversal and warned party leaders that the Democrat Party as a whole was drifting farther left and leaving them behind.
“Tom Perez is chair of the Democratic National Committee because wealthy centrist liberals … needed a convenient stooge to keep the party machinery out of the left’s hands,” The Week’s national correspondent Ryan Cooper wrote after the reversal. “He’s serving his big donor masters loyally, and in the process failing his party, the United States of America, and humanity as a whole.”
“[Climate change] is by far the biggest problem facing the United States and human civilization,” Cooper continued. “The coal, oil, and natural gas industries must disappear in short order, and their property in the form of extraction rights to buried carbon reserves must be deleted forever.”
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