Draft Democratic Platform Urges Fossil Fuel Company Probe

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By Rachel Leven

June 27 — The Justice Department must investigate fossil fuel companies for fraud over whether they allegedly misled investors and the public on climate science, the recently announced draft Democratic Party platform said.

The platform shifts away from the widely touted “all-of-the-above” energy strategy toward a focus on the clean energy-centered future. Notably, the draft platform that was announced in a June 25 news release appears to exclude some of the more aggressive climate actions Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called for, including a nationwide hydraulic fracturing ban.

The draft platform is the culmination of days of hearings and deliberations by the drafting committee, made up of representatives of both major Democratic contenders, despite former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's having reached the number of delegates needed to clinch the nomination. The platform appears much closer to Clinton's stated views on climate and clean energy than Sander's.

Digging Into Fossil Fuels Firms

The Democratic Platform Drafting Committee unanimously adopted the proposal to urge the Justice Department to investigate fossil fuel companies, according to the release. This adoption comes months after 17 attorneys general committed to address climate change, including by investigating whether fossil fuel companies had committed fraud by de-emphasizing the impact climate change would have on their businesses.

The drafting committee also unanimously adopted the proposal to call for half of the country's energy to be powered by clean energy in the next decade. It calls for the country to be entirely powered by clean energy by mid-century.

The full, 187-member platform committee will vote on the draft platform in Orlando, Fla., on July 8 and 9. It will then be offered for ratification at the July Democratic National Convention.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rachel Leven in Washington at rleven@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at lpearl@bna.com

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