Sanders Calls for Criminal Prosecution of Fossil Fuel Executives over the Planet’s ‘Destruction’

Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) called for the criminal prosecution of fossil fuel executives – citing the “destruction they have knowingly caused” – as part of his massive $16 trillion Green New Deal proposal unveiled Thursday.

The presidential candidate unveiled his comprehensive climate change proposal which calls for a $16.3 trillion investment in public investment hitting a variety of angles, from expanding existing entitlement programs to pouring billions into a Green Climate Fund.

Sanders cited the scientific community’s “consensus” that we must “transform our energy system away from fossil fuels”:

The socialist senator took his call a step further, calling to “prosecute and sue the fossil fuel industry for the damage it has caused.”

His plan states:

When it was revealed in 2015 that the fossil fuel industry knew their actions were contributing to climate change decades ago, Bernie sent a letter to then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch asking her to open a federal investigation to find out whether the industry violated the law . President Bernie Sanders will ensure that his Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission investigate these companies and bring suits – both criminal and civil – for any wrongdoing, just as the federal government did with the tobacco industry in the 1980s. These corporations and their executives should not get away with hiding the truth from the American people. They should also pay damages for the destruction they have knowingly caused .

Sanders stressed that point in a tweet Thursday evening, writing, “Fossil fuel executives should be criminally prosecuted for the destruction they have knowingly caused”:

Sanders’ call to “criminally prosecute” fossil fuel executives comes just days after the rollout of his criminal justice reform plan, in which he pledged to end “mass incarceration,” in part, by stopping “excessing sentencing,” ending “three strikes” laws, and terminating mandatory sentencing minimums.

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