Skip to:

Power to the people: Bernie calls for federal takeover of electricity production

Gavin Bade

Sen. Bernie Sanders has put nationalizing health insurance at the center of his presidential campaign, but his proposal to fight climate change also calls for a government takeover of a fundamental segment of the economy β€” electricity production. In the past, public power campaigns have run aground over disputes about purchasing utility lines and power plants from their owners. But the Sanders' campaign says its proposal differs in a critical way: It would not make the government purchase power plants from existing utilities β€” it would build new renewable energy to compete with them.

β€œIt is a hybrid plan and it harkens back to the original New Deal where they created these [federal utilities], and they were about lowering the cost of energy for consumers and having cooperative relationships with municipally or publicly owned utilities,” said Johanna Bozuwa, co-manager of the climate and energy program at the progressive think tank The Next System Project.