Skip to main content

Common Dreams. Journalism funded by people, not corporations.

There has never been—and never will be—an advertisement on our site except for this one: without readers like you supporting our work, we wouldn't exist.

No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news and opinion 365 days a year that is freely available to all and funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good.

Our mission is clear. Our model is simple. If you can, please support our Fall Campaign today.

Support Our Work -- No corporate influence. No pay-wall. Independent news funded by those who support our mission: To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. Please support our Fall Campaign today.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez stands at the podium as he prepares to address the second day of the Democratic National Convention on August 18, 2020. (Photo: Brian Snyder/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)

'Immoral, Criminal, Inexcusable': Climate Groups Furious as DNC Drops Support for Ending Fossil Fuel Handouts From Platform

"It's outrageous that the Dem establishment is caving to big money donors and moving backwards on fossil fuel subsidies."

Jake Johnson

Environmentalists reacted with outrage late Tuesday to news that the Democratic National Committee this week quietly removed from the final party platform an amendment calling for an end to federal subsidies to the fossil fuel industry, a longstanding demand of climate activists that both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris supported during the primary.

"We are nearing global tipping points on climate, fires and extreme weather are killing people and devastating the economy, and the DNC can't even accept an end to public subsidies for making it worse?"
—Annie Leonard, Greenpeace USA
HuffPost's Alexander Kaufman reported Tuesday that "on July 27, officials added an amendment to the Manager's Mark, a ledger of party demands voted on as one omnibus package, stating: 'Democrats support eliminating tax breaks and subsidies for fossil fuels, and will fight to defend and extend tax incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy.'"

But the amendment does not appear in a final version of the Democratic platform that began circulating Monday, according to Kaufman. In a statement to HuffPost, a DNC spokesperson said the amendment was "incorrectly included in the Manager's Mark" and removed from the document "after the error was discovered."

Annie Leonard, executive director of Greenpeace USA, denounced the decision to remove support for eliminating fossil fuel subsidies from the party platform as "immoral, criminal, inexcusable."

"We are nearing global tipping points on climate, fires and extreme weather are killing people and devastating the economy, and the DNC can't even accept an end to public subsidies for making it worse?" Leonard tweeted.

Speaking to HuffPost, Oil Change U.S. campaigner Collin Rees called the DNC's decision "ridiculous."

"This is a commonsense position held by both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris," said Rees. "The DNC should immediately include it in the platform."

The move represents a step back from the Democratic Party's 2016 platform—which included language supporting an end to tax breaks and subsidies for fossil fuel companies—at a time when analysts say throwing taxpayer money at the flagging industry makes less sense than ever. In her HEATED newsletter, Emily Atkin noted that "taxpayers currently pay at least $20 billion a year to prop up the fossil fuel industry; though depending on how you calculate it, it could be as high as $649 billion."

As Sludge's Donald Shaw reported Tuesday, the DNC's reversal on fossil fuel subsidies comes after the body in August of 2018 "approved a resolution from Chair Tom Perez that reversed a DNC policy prohibiting it from accepting contributions from fossil fuel PACs."

"Shortly thereafter, donations from fossil fuel executives began flowing into DNC coffers," Shaw noted. "In August 2019, Sludge reported that the DNC had received at least $60,750 from owners and executives of fossil fuel companies including Krumme Oil, Duke Energy, and Southern Petroleum Resources. That figure has almost certainly increased dramatically since."

Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, said "it's outrageous that the Dem establishment is caving to big money donors and moving backwards on fossil fuel subsidies."

"We are in a climate emergency," Taylor added, "and it's unimaginable that we would spend (more) billions of taxpayer dollars propping up an industry that is killing us."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Corporate Dems of US Senate Blamed as GOP Texas Governor Approves 'Rigged' Voting Maps

"We must protect our democracy with federal legislation immediately and defeat these cynical politicians at the ballot box."

Jessica Corbett ·


'An Act of Cowardice': 21 Israel-Based Groups Condemn Terror Label for Palestine NGOs

The organizations called the designation "a draconian measure that criminalizes critical human rights work."

Brett Wilkins ·


The Facebook Papers Spur More Calls to 'Break Them Up!'

Other critics are demanding a "full, independent, outside investigation" of the tech titan as whistleblower Frances Haugen testifies to the U.K. Parliament.

Jessica Corbett ·


'This Is an Emergency': Oxfam Says Rich Nations' $100 Billion Climate Pledge Not Good Enough

"Time is running out for rich nations to build trust and deliver on their unmet target."

Andrea Germanos ·


Progressives Vow to 'Push Very Hard' to Keep Agenda From Being Gutted Beyond Recognition

Congresswoman Ilhan Omar said House Democrats "are fighting to tackle the climate crisis, expand Medicare to cover dental, vision, and hearing, and guarantee family leave in America."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo