Electing Presidential, U.S. House & U.S. Senate Candidates to Slow Climate Change

Vote Climate U.S. PAC Endorses Bernie Sanders for President

Karyn Strickler


In our Vote Climate U.S. PAC, 2020 Presidential Voter’s Guide, we rate candidates on their climate change position, plan, leadership and support for a fee on carbon pollution. We total those scores for an overall climate calculation. Bernie Sanders scored the highest of any candidate with an overall climate calculation of 93.75. Joe Biden’s climate calculation is 81.25.

With our timeline so short and the climate emergency we face, the difference between a climate calculation of 93.75 and 81.25 could be the difference between a livable planet and not, when electing a U.S. President. That is why Vote Climate U.S. PAC is endorsing Bernie Sanders for President.

According to Vote Climate U.S. PAC’s extensive, independent research for our Voter’s Guide, both candidates understand the existential threat that climate change represents. Bernie Sanders distinguishes himself in his climate plan, where he commits to 100% renewable energy by 2030. Joe Biden calls for a 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions by no later than 2050, two decades too late.

Bernie Sanders advocates for climate action as a top priority issue. In a tweet, dated August 23, 2019, the Senator stated, “Let me be blunt: If we stick to a ‘middle ground’ approach or half measures when it comes to the climate crisis, our children and grandchildren will not have a livable planet.” Biden makes public statements and advocates for action on climate change, but not as a top priority. He seems satisfied with half measures like his promise to recommit to the Paris Climate Agreement, a necessary, but insufficient idea.

In terms of their climate plans and keeping fossil fuels in the ground, a necessity for slowing climate change, both candidates support the Green New Deal, want to end fossil fuel subsidies and extraction on public land. Sanders and Biden each signed the the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge. Biden subsequently violated the pledge by attending a fundraiser co-hosted by Western LNG’s co-founder Andrew Goldman, demonstrating a weak commitment, and an affinity for the fossil fuel industry and their money. Sanders has been steadfast in his commitment to the pledge.

It is urgent that voters make the connection between their deep concern on the climate issue and the need to take the matter to the polls on Election Day. The tornado that ripped through Tennessee on Super Tuesday, killing dozens of people, doing untold damage to property and causing voting difficulties, seems to portent the urgent need to vote climate. If voters are serious about climate change, they need to vote for Bernie Sanders.

Coming in September, Vote Climate U.S. PAC’s 2020 Congressional Voter’s Guide is a tool to help voters to make climate change a top priority at the polls. We are currently researching the Voter’s Guide which rates U.S. House and U.S. Senate incumbents and challengers, giving climate calculations to each. Our well-received 2018 Voter’s Guide and priority candidates, currently on our website with updated winners and losers, got mentions in Vox, O, the Oprah Magazine, GQ, Forbes, and almost 1,500 other media outlets, podcasts and blogs.

Our Voter’s Guide is accessible and simple to use. Go to our 2020 POTUS Voter’s Guide page, where you can find our climate calculations for voters to take into the voting booth and choose climate-action candidates. Click the green + button for more details on each candidate.

In September, Vote Climate U.S. PAC will also add a “Climate Rankings” page, to our website where we look at the big picture of American politics and climate change, by analyzing our research data for party and regional differences. There you will also find climate heroes, climate zeroes and a best to worst list for every member of the U.S. Congress nationwide.

With scientific estimates of about 11 years to slow climate change, the 2020 election may represent one of our last chances to prioritize climate change in the voting booth. The next 4 years, the Presidential term, represents roughly one third of the time we have for action, signaling the urgent need to vote for the strongest climate-action candidate, Bernie Sanders.

Karyn Strickler is the founder and president of Vote Climate U.S. PAC, working to elect candidates to get off fossil fuels and put a fee on carbon pollution in order to slow climate change.



Karyn Strickler

Karyn Strickler is president of Vote Climate U.S. PAC working to elect candidates to get off fossil fuels and put a fee on carbon to slow climate change.