Oregon Democrat concedes bill is going nowhere with a GOP Congress and president, 'but we cannot wait another 30 years for us to engage this challenge.'

U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley concedes its political timing is bad, but legislation to move the nation to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 is still a good move.

Merkley joined fellow senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Ed Markey of Massachusetts and Cory Booker of New Jersey to sponsor the bill even though he acknowledges it will not even get a hearing in the Republican-controlled Senate.

"We are the first generation to see the dramatic effects (of climate change) on the ground," Merkley said in a conference call with Oregon reporters. "We are the generation that must address this. We cannot wait another 30 years for us to engage this challenge.

"It is going to generate a conversation about appropriate strategies in each sector. It is important to generate a discussion from whether we get to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 to how we do it — and it is important to have this conversation now."

Merkley, Sanders — an independent backed by Merkley for the Democratic presidential nomination last year — and Democrat Markey appeared with representatives of several environmental groups at a press conference beforehand on Thursday (April 27).

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