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How Green is Bernie Sanders?

Welcome to Exact Solar’s ‘How Green is the 2016 Presidential Election?’ series! Check out the Introduction Post  for more information and be sure to check back tomorrow for another candidate!

The Nation, a weekly political magazine, and 350 Action have teamed up and asked major political candidates in the Democratic, Republican and Green parties to “neither solicit nor accept campaign contributions from any oil, gas or coal company.

We know that it’s early in the 2016 presidential race, but this election has the potential to truly revolutionize energy in America. We at Exact Solar feel that politics are at the heart of the green movement. So we are going to do all of the dirty work and research for you to provide you with the breakdown of the greenest and not-so-eco-friendly candidates so far.

Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders is one of only 3 candidates to take the pledge, and he certainly believes in climate change and is ready to take it on full force. In fact, Climate Hawks Vote deemed Sanders “the No. 1 climate leader in the Senate for the 113th Congress that ended in January.” His campaign largely focuses on preserving our planet for the future generations.

But can this Independent Senator from Vermont stand up against Hillary Clinton? Only time will tell, but time seems to be on Sander’s side as the campaigns continue. According to a recent poll from Monmouth University, Sanders is Clinton’s only real competition as far as Democratic candidates go. Her support from liberal voters has declined 9% since April, while Sanders’ has increased by 10%, with other Democratic candidates holding 1% or less each. If anyone can shake up the election, it’s Sanders.

Through an aggressive social media campaign, Sanders has gained the support of many young Americans who are worried about climate change. “This country should lead the world in transforming our energy system and dealing with climate change.”

While Clinton has gained the support of many American women who are looking for a female president, the youth of the United States certainly are not afraid to question her concern for solving climate change.

And Sanders is standing up with them. The Keystone XL Pipeline, a proposed pipeline that would transport toxic, tar sands oil from Canada to refineries in Texas and along the Gulf Coast, is a key topic in the presidential race. While Sanders is following in President Obama’s footsteps and standing strong against the pipeline, Clinton has yet to address the issue.

“I have helped lead the opposition against the Keystone pipeline,” said Sanders. “I don’t believe we should be excavating or transporting some of the dirtiest fuel on this planet. I think Secretary Clinton has not been clear on her views on that issue.”

As far as we can tell, Sanders is the ‘greenest’ Democratic candidate at the moment – and he’s using it to stand out against Clinton. And with Americans becoming increasingly concerned with climate change and switching to clean energy sources, it might just be what he needs to gain popularity among voters.

Written by Sarah Bergen. Sarah is a writer and editor from New Jersey. She enjoys writing about environmental issues, sustainability, and health. She can be reached at [email protected].

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