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Bernie Sanders Pushes Bill to Limit Fossil Fuel Extraction on Public Land


Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, center, and Sen. Jeff Merkley (l) announce new climate legislation, Nov. 4, 2015, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, center, and Sen. Jeff Merkley (l) announce new climate legislation, Nov. 4, 2015, during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders and fellow Democrat Senator Jeff Merkley unveiled a climate-change bill on Wednesday aiming to aggressively tackle oil, gas and coal extraction on federal public lands.

The bill is expected to face fierce opposition in the Republicans controlled U.S. Congress and therefore is unlikely to become law.

Sanders intends to halt new leases for fossil fuel extraction on public lands and for offshore drilling in the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico. He also wants to prohibit drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic Ocean.

Sanders pushed for the proposal at a U.S. Capitol rally Wednesday. "You can not talk the talk ... and at the same time say we are going to extract," Sanders said, adding that the U.S. must protect workers as it moves away from fossil fuels.

Sanders spoke alongside environmental activists, such as Bill McKibben, co-founder of the grassroots climate group 350.org; Aaron Mair, president of the Sierra Club; and tribal rights attorney Tara Houska.

Sanders, who calls himself a democratic socialist, has been Hillary Clinton's main rival to win party's nomination for president in the November 2016 elections.

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