Bernie Sanders photo

Sanders Campaign Press Release - Sanders Endorsed by Friends of the Earth

August 01, 2015

CONCORD, N.H. – Winning the first major endorsement for any presidential candidate by a national environmental group, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on Saturday welcomed Friends of the Earth's backing for his White House campaign.

"I am very honored to receive the endorsement of one of the great environmental organizations not only in America but in the world," Sanders said at the news conference at a park here along the banks of the Merrimack River.

The endorsement was announced by Michael Herz, a former chairman and current Friends of the Earth board member. Erich Pica, the president of Friends of the Earth Action, said in a statement that the endorsement means his group's 2 million activists will promote Sanders' bid to become the Democratic Party nominee for president.

"He has proven himself a bold and fearless voice for the planet," Pica said of Sanders in a prepared statement. "Sen. Sanders' bold ideas and real solutions to addressing climate change, inequality and promoting a transformative economy that prioritizes public health and the environment over corporate profits, have earned him an enthusiastic endorsement from Friends of the Earth Action."

In the audience at the news conference was Jerry Curran, the chairman of the New Hampshire chapter of the Sierra Club. Another leading environmentalist and best-selling author, Bill McKibben, took part in the May 26 kickoff of Sanders' presidential campaign at a Lake Champlain shoreline park in Burlington, Vermont.

In accepting the Friends of the Earth endorsement, Sanders focused on the most serious environmental issue confronting the planet: global warming. "We need to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel and into sustainable energy," Sanders said.

The endorsement capped a week during which Sanders welcomed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's support for solar power and energy efficiency, but questioned her refusal to take a stand on construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline and drilling for oil in the Arctic Ocean.

"If you're concerned about climate change, say no to the Keystone XL pipeline," Sanders said at the news conference. He said the pipeline would ship some of the dirtiest oil on the planet from Canada's tar sands region across the United States to refineries in Texas.

Sanders' clear stand on the pipeline was among the factors Friends of the Earth cited in its endorsement.

Sanders said he would tax emissions from burning oil and coal to discourage the use of fossil fuels responsible for climate change. He has proposed eliminating $135 billion in tax breaks for fossil fuel companies which turn enormous profits. He introduced legislation Congress passed to create an energy efficiency block grant program. His measure was folded into a broader energy bill that Congress passed in 2007. He later secured $3.2 billion for the initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. And his 10 Million Solar Roofs Act would make solar power more affordable and make it simpler for homeowners and businesses to get local permits.

Related Images

Bernie Sanders, Sanders Campaign Press Release - Sanders Endorsed by Friends of the Earth Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Simple Search of Our Archives