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DNC chair Tom Perez proposes reversal of party’s new ban on corporate fossil fuel donations

Just two months after the Democratic National Committee (DNC) unanimously voted to ban donations from fossil fuel companies, DNC chair Tom Perez has introduced a resolution that would essentially reverse the ban, HuffPost reported Friday.

The proposal introduced by Perez says that the Democratic Party “support[s] fossil fuel workers” and will accept donations from the workers individually or “through
their unions’ or employers’ political action committees.”

According to HuffPost, the resolution “nods” to “forward-looking employers” that are “powering America’s all-of-the-above energy economy and moving us towards a future fueled by clean and low-emissions energy technology, from renewables to carbon capture and storage to advanced nuclear technology.”

The original resolution banned donations from oil, gas, and coal companies, but not from individual workers in those industries, something some activists hoped the party would take a step to ban, as well. Instead, Perez looks to, according to Friday’s report, “continue to welcome the longstanding and generous contributions of workers, including those in energy and related industries, who organize and donate to Democratic candidates individually or through their unions’ or employers’ political action committees.”

R.L. Miller, president of Climate Hawks Vote, said in a statement Friday she was “furious that the DNC would effectively undo a resolution passed just two months ago just as the movement to ban fossil fuel corporate PAC money is growing (and Democrats are winning).”

Miller added that an initial fix would be to remove the language allowing donations from their employers PACs, and “then the Democratic Party can have a conversation about how best to respond to the climate emergency without abandoning workers in the fossil fuel industry.”

Molly Kelly, a former New Hampshire state legislator who is now running for governor, was also quick to condemn the proposal, saying in a statement that the DNC is “wrong.”

“The harmful effects of climate change are apparently on an almost daily basis,” Kelly said. “Those of us who care deeply about protecting our environment should not fund our campaigns with donations from one of the biggest contributors to climate change, the fossil fuel industry.”

More than 900 candidates running for office nationwide have signed individual pledges not to accept any fossil fuel money, according to Jamie Henn, a spokesperson for environmental activist group 350.org.

“This sort of spineless corporate pandering by the DNC is why Democrats keep losing,” Henn tweeted. “Grow a spine.”

According to the HuffPost report, the DNC could vote on the measure as soon as 5:00 p.m. EST Friday.


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