Around New England

Brown Climate Change Activists Demand Democratic National Committee Chairman Stop Taking Fossil-Fuel Contributions

November 26, 2018

Brown University students chanted and sang to protest an appearance by Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, because he supports allowing political action committees of oil companies and other fossil-fuel providers to donate money to the Democratic Party.

One student said his family had to leave the African country of Mali because their land became unfarmable because of climate change caused by pollution in the United States and other industrialized countries, according to the Brown Daily Herald.

Protesters also blamed climate change for the recent deadly wildfires in California, for toxic air in Singapore caused by burning of forests in Indonesia, and for several recent hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean.

As for accepting donations from fossil-fuels companies, Perez has been on both sides of the issue. In June he supported a resolution that the committee passed that banned donations to the party from oil, gas, and coal companies.

But on August 10, he introduced a resolution that the committee passed that allows donations from “employers’ political action committees” as a means “to support fossil fuel workers.”

When Perez, a 1983 graduate of Brown University, appeared at Brown with Michael Steele, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee, on Monday, November 19, climate-change protesters zeroed in on Perez.

They chanted “Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Fossil fuels have got to go!” and called for a “Green New Deal” to be incorporated into the Democratic Party’s platform in 2020, according to the Brown Daily Herald. Among the goals:  shifting fuel consumption from oil, gas, and coal to renewable energy sources like sun and wind and shifting workers in the oil, gas, and coal industries to so-called green energy production. The target date is 2030.