For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 
Contact: 

Erin Jensen, Friends of the Earth Action, (202) 222-0722, ejensen@foe.org

Garrett Blad, Sunrise Movement, (513) 808-6395, garrettblad@gmail.com

Youth Leaders and Activists Converge on Chicago to Condemn DNC Fossil Fuel Flip-Flop

CHICAGO - In response to the DNC’s recent decision to reverse a ban on contributions from fossil fuel corporate PACs, youth leaders and activists are gathering today in Chicago to deliver over 100,000 petition signatures and a letter signed by over 20 groups condemning the move.

In June of this year, the DNC unanimously voted to refuse all donations from fossil fuel corporate PACs. Two weeks ago, the Executive Committee of the DNC abruptly reversed course, shamelessly disregarding the growing progressive movement that has taken decisive action on this issue. Almost 1,000 candidates for local, state and national office have already refused to accept fossil fuel corporate money. As the DNC meets in Chicago this week for its Summer Gathering, the groups are demanding that the ban be immediately restored.

“I’m very disappointed in the DNC for reneging on their efforts to stop climate change and fight back against the corrupting influence of fossil fuel CEOs on our democracy,” said Jeremy Ornstein, a 17-year-old Sunrise Movement volunteer and recent President of the High School Democrats Association of America. “If the Democrats want to restore the trust of young voters and unite workers and environmentalists, they’ll restore the ban and back a Green New Deal that’ll guarantee every American a job fighting climate change and building a fossil-free economy.”

"The DNC has no business taking fossil fuel PAC money,” said Brant Olson, Program Director at ClimateTruth.org. “Fossil fuel companies spend millions every year to influence our elections and block action on climate change. Tom Perez should follow the lead of more than 1,000 candidates nationwide that have already pledged to reject fossil fuel money and prioritize the health of our communities."

“You cannot fight for climate solutions if you take money from climate deniers,” said Lukas Ross, Senior Policy Analyst for Friends of the Earth Action. “Chairman Perez’s sudden about-face is a sad indication that corporate dollars matter more to the DNC than showing true progressive leadership. This is how elections are lost.”

“It’s deeply disappointing to see the DNC resist the growing momentum within the party for bold climate action,” said May Boeve, Executive Director of 350 Action. “This political u-turn is bizarrely out of touch with the hundreds of candidates and elected officials committing to sever financial ties with Big Oil. It’s past time for Democratic leadership to step up and put their constituents ahead of fossil fuel interests. We need support for policies that move us toward a 100% renewable energy economy and lift up community-led solutions to climate change now.”

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Friends of the Earth is the U.S. voice of the world's largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 77 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has fought to create a more healthy, just world.

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