November 4, 2015
Contact: Jamie Henn, [email protected], 415-890-3350

“Keep It In the Ground Act” Raises the Bar for Presidential Leadership on Climate

Washington, DC — The grassroots political group 350 Action, which has been pushing presidential candidates to take stronger positions on climate, heralded the new “Keep It In The Ground Act” introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) in Washington today as a new bar for climate leadership in this election.

“This bill helps set a new bar for climate leadership. If you’re serious about addressing global warming, you’ve got to keep fossil fuels in the ground,” said Jason Kowalski, a spokesperson for 350 Action. “People are looking for a candidate who will use public resources for the public good, not sell them off for pennies to the corporations that are wrecking our future. The last presidential election saw virtually no discussion of climate change. Now, thanks to a growing movement, we’re beginning to see a real debate about how we solve this crisis.”

The proposed legislation would end new fossil fuel leases on public lands, as well as prohibit offshore drilling in the Arctic and the Atlantic. Scientists have made it clear that in order to keep global warming below the dangerous threshold of 2°C, 80% of known fossil fuel reserves must be kept underground. The proposed legislation keeps 50% of fossil fuels underneath US soil in the ground forever.

The legislation is cosponsored by Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).