SPRECKLES, California — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) vowed Wednesday to ban the practice of fracking throughout the United States if he becomes president.
“If I win, we are going to ban fracking all across this country,” Sanders said during a morning press conference at the Spreckles Veterans Memorial Building in a rural farming community in Monterey County.
“Fracking not only threatens our water supply, it pollutes the air supply. it contributes to climate change, it is highly explosive and it has resulted in more earthquakes, something Californians know a little bit about,” Sanders added. He noted that Vermont was the first state to ban the practice and New York was the second to follow suit, but lamented that nothing has yet happened in California or the rest of the United States.
Gov. Jerry Brown has come under pressure from his own Democratic Party for allowing fracking to take place in the Golden State. On Tuesday, Brown endorsed Hillary Clinton for president over Sanders in an open letter he penned and posted to his website. He said he was “deeply impressed with how well Bernie Sanders has done.”
Asked by Breitbart News if Sanders has discussed with Brown his position on fracking, Sanders said “no.” Asked if he intends to, he said “I hope to. Yes.”
In his speech, Sanders pointed out that “Secretary Clinton and I obviously have many differences of opinions on many issues. But on the issue of fracking, our differences are pretty profound.” He said that while she wants to regulate it, Sanders wants to ban tracking altogether in the United States. “As Secretary of State, she actively pushed the fracking technology in other countries throughout the planet.”
Sanders’ Latino Outreach Coordinator said she has visited “majority Latino schools near oil fields where fracking and other extreme extraction have taken place The students suffer from nose bleeds, asthma, headaches and unusual forms of cancer.” She referred to the practice of fracking as “environmental racism.”
“The fight against fracking is a fight for environmental justice. And enough is enough. “¡Si se puede con Bernie Sanders!” she exclaimed (which means “Yes we can with Bernie Sanders!” in Spanish).
Racial inequality and environmental issues have often intersected in Sanders’s rhetoric. On Monday, he touched upon the issue of “the transport of coal and other pollutants … being transferred through African-American and impoverished communities,” as opposed to the suburbs, during his Oakland community town hall at the predominantly black Allen Temple Baptist Church.
“I think everyone here knows that in low-income communities, in African-American communities, there is a heck of a lot of pollution going on. The number of children dealing with asthma, you’ve got that here as well?” he asked the audience.
Sanders said: “The Democratic Party should make it absolutely clear that they stand with the American people to ban fracking. I would hope that the Democratic National Committee makes it clear that it is on the side of the American people, of the minority community that most experiences the effects” of this practice.
Later in the day, Sanders spoke to an enthusiastic crowd in Palo Alto, California:
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