For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Michael Briggs or Will Wiquist (202) 224-5141

Senator Bernie Sanders

Sanders Calls Climate Change Setback Disappointing Solar Power Prospects Brighter

WASHINGTON - Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said today he was disappointed
that Republican obstructionism forced Senate leaders to abandon plans to pass
a comprehensive energy bill this summer to deal with the global warming.

“I
am disappointed that because of Republican obstructionism and the need to get
60 votes to overcome a filibuster, the Senate has not been able to go as far
as it should in transforming our energy system,” Sanders said.

The
Senate now plans to pursue a more limited measure focused on responding to
the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and increase energy efficiency. “While the
proposed bill offered by Majority Leader Reid contains important provisions, it
goes nowhere near far enough,” Sanders said.

Sanders
said he is more optimistic about a solar
energy bill
he proposed, which has 16 cosponsors. He said, “The
United States now has the potential to create millions of jobs by moving away
from foreign oil and fossil fuels into energy efficiency and such renewable
energy sources as wind, solar geothermal and biomass. I’m going to do
everything I can to fight for my legislation which would move us toward 10
million solar rooftops in 10 years.”

The
Senate energy committee on Wednesday voted 13 to 10 for Sanders’ bill
that would authorize $250 million for competitive grants in 2012 and
additional funding through 2021. Along with existing incentives, the program
could meet and exceed the goal of installing 10 million solar systems over a
10-year period, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. 

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