Bernie Sanders just received a major endorsement from the legendary activist, environmentalist, economist, and, in my opinion, one of coolest people ever – Winona LaDuke.
LaDuke’s endorsement of Bernie Sanders came in the form of a video where she praised Sanders’ vision for a fossil-free future:
“Our lands – as indigenous lands – are the place where most of the oil and gas, and a good portion of the uranium and coal comes from. The easiest answer for the future generations is to keep it in the ground. And we are thankful for Bernie Sanders for saying ‘Let’s #keepitintheground.’ Don’t make a mess we can’t clean up, LaDuke said.
Here is the video:
For those not familiar with LaDuke’s history, she is an indigenous American who has worked tirelessly fighting for tribal rights and sustainable development. Winona LaDuke is an Anishinaabekwe (Ojibwe) enrolled member of the Mississippi Band Anishinaabeg. After graduating from Harvard, LaDuke has spent her career writing about issues that hurt indigenous groups and the environment. LaDuke currently works as the Director of Honor the Earth.
It is not surprising that LaDuke has decided to endorse Sanders for president. Sanders has an ambitious plan to completely transform the United States energy infrastructure. What’s really great about Sanders’ “keep it in the ground” strategy, is that so much of it can be accomplished without the approval of Congress.
The president of the United States has the authority to prevent the State Department from granting leases to fossil fuel companies if they want to extract dirty fuels from federal land. President Obama recently used this power to put a quasi-moratorium on leases for coal mines. As president, Sanders would also be able to not give leases to companies who wish to build pipelines across international borders.
One aspect of Sanders’ energy plan should be of particular interest to both racial justice groups, environmentalists, and those who work in their intersection. Sanders recognizes the disparity of the impact fossil fuel extraction and usage has on indigenous peoples and communities of color. That’s why he supports legislation that would work to halt the devastation fossil fuels are causing while creating millions of new jobs. Sanders co-sponsored the “Keep It in the Ground Act” last year. When he did he released a video explain why we need to transform our nation’s energy system.
You can watch the video below.
Featured image from video screenshot via Facebook