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Progressives 'Furious' After Report of DNC Proposal to Reverse Ban on Fossil Fuel Donations

"Honestly, these people are bound and determined to deflate and demobilize their base," declared author and activist Naomi Klein

"New DNC proposal would support an 'all of the above' energy policy which the last party platform explicitly rejects," said Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org.

"New DNC proposal would support an 'all of the above' energy policy which the last party platform explicitly rejects," said Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/Flickr/cc)

After winning applause from environmentalists in June for unanimously voting to ban donations from fossil fuel companies, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has reportedly proposed reversing the ban and is planning to vote on a resolution on Friday that would once more allow oil companies to pour money into DNC coffers.

"The rule being proposed by Tom Perez may allow the Koch Brothers to donate to the party."
—People for Bernie

"Couched in language of embracing the contributions of fossil fuel workers, the proposal, introduced by DNC Chair Tom Perez, states that the party will accept donations from 'employers' political action committees,'" reports the Huffington Post, which obtained a copy of the new proposal (pdf).

The DNC's reversal immediately sparked anger among progressives and activists who have been pushing the party to end its reliance on Big Oil money and begin confronting the climate crisis with the urgency and boldness it requires.

"I am 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)," Democratic Party activist R.L. Miller, a co-sponsor of the original resolution that banned fossil fuel PAC money, told the Huffington Post.

"There's no reason the DNC should go back on their promises and accept corporate PAC money," tweeted the advocacy group People for Bernie. "The rule being proposed by Tom Perez may allow the Koch Brothers to donate to the party. They could create an 'employer pac' at Georgia Pacific, have a union member donate, then fill it with their own cash."

"New DNC proposal would support an 'all of the above' energy policy which the last party platform explicitly rejects," said Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org. "This is a bad idea, on both scientific and political grounds."

In a Twitter thread responding to the DNC's apparent reversal, science journalist Erin Biba called the move "disgusting" and tweeted at Perez: "You better believe your constituents are watching. Honestly how dare you. This will haunt the Democratic party and we will make sure you never forget this choice."

"This is just another example [of how] many Democrats are complicit in the utter failure of our government to fight climate change and instead line their pockets with fossil fuel money," Biba added. "This is is why it's essential to vote and let your congresspeople know you won't tolerate this."

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