In a publicity stunt tied directly to the People’s Climate March, Sen. Jeff Merkley (Ore.-D) will announce new legislation that would ban fossil fuels by 2050. Merkley said he will introduce the bill the week of April 24, ahead of the planned rallies across the country. The legislation, co-sponsored by Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt-I), is called the “100 by ’50 Act.”

Merkley said in a statement the legislation is in response to the election of Donald Trump and an “anti-science Congress.

”The same Congress he’ll need to pass his new bill. Merkley said now more than ever is the “time to push for a bold new strategy to tackle climate change.” That means a “fundamental shift” in how America produces and uses energy.

But even under President Obama and a Democratic-led congress, fossil fuel usage and fracking continued to grow and helped make America one of the largest natural gas and oil producing countries.

They also bandied about the idea of a carbon tax, but that was killed by congressional Democrats from oil and gas producing states. It also polled as a highly unpopular idea by Americans.

No time to wait!

“We don’t have four years to wait,” Merkley said this week, “to begin this rapid transition.” The new legislation requires that 50 percent of all electricity generated comes from renewables like wind and solar by 2030.

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Donald Trump

Merkley admits the bill stands no chance of getting passed or signed into law, but he believes it provides a vision of a future that competes with Trump’s plan for an energy-independent America.

While Merkley didn’t spell out any specific policy changes, his staff described the bill as a two-stage strategy. The first is getting people to switch from fossil fuel-powered items to electric, including heating and vehicles.

The second is converting the country’s power grid so it only uses zero-emissions energy sources. That’s because renewable energy isn’t compatible with our current power grid due to fluctuations and unreliability.

Resist Trump

Environmental activists plan to use the bill’s announcement as a “call to arms” before the People’s Climate March.

350.org’s policy director told the HuffPost this is just one of “many ways to resist Trump.” The group was also behind many of the obstreperous town hall gatherings and confirmation hearings, providing instructions and guides on “how to disrupt” on its website.

Activists have criticized Democrats for not doing to Trump what Republicans did to Obama: block much of his key legislation. Recent polling, however, shows Americans weren’t willing to pay for global warming programs.

And a majority don’t believe it’s the country’s most urgent needs. Numerous studies show that the Paris Climate Agreement will cost world economies trillions of dollars to offset warming by 0.01 degrees.

Given no one believes the bill stands much of a chance, it’s likely the announcement and introduction of the bill will appease a vocal group of activists seeking to demonize fossil fuels and promote the now-yearly march.

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