(CNSNews.com) - The stockholders and CEOs of oil and gas companies should be held personally accountable for harming the planet and the industry should be sued just like drug companies and tobacco companies have been sued, former Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday.
During MSNBC’s Democratic presidential debate, Telemundo reporter Guadalupe Venegas asked, “You said you want to hold oil and gas executives accountable for their role in harming our planet. You have even suggested that you might put them in jail. Which companies are you talking about and how far are you willing to go?”
Biden: I'm willing to go as far as we have to. First of all, I would eliminate all the subsidies we have for oil and gas. Eliminate it. Period. That would save millions and billions of dollars. Number two, I think that any executive who is engaging -- and by the way, minority communities are the ones most badly hurt by the way in which we deal with climate change. They are the ones becoming the victims. That's where the asthma is. That's where the ground water has been polluted. That's where in fact people in fact do not have the opportunity to be able to get away from everything from asbestos in the walls of our schools.
I have a trillion-dollar program for infrastructure. That will provide for thousands and thousands of new jobs, not $15 an hour but $50 an hour plus benefits, unions, unions being able to do that. What it does is it will change the nature-- Look, here's the last point. My time is gonna run out. Here's the last point I want to make to you. On day one when I'm elected president, I’m gonna invite all the members of the Paris Accord to Washington, D.C. They make up 85% of the problem. They know me. I'm used to dealing with international relations. I will get them to up the ante in a big way.
Venegas: Vice President Biden, you didn't answer my question.
Biden: I thought I did.
Venegas: What would you do with these companies that are responsible for the destruction of our planet?
Biden: What would I do with them? I would make sure they number one, stop. Number two, if you demonstrate that they have in fact done things already that are bad and they've been lying, they should be able to be sued. They should be able to be held personally accountable, and not only the company, not the stockholders but the CEOs of those companies. They should be engaged. It’s a little bit, like, look. This is the industry we should sue, we should go after just like the drug companies, just like we did with the tobacco companies. The only company we can't go after are gun manufacturers because of my buddy here, but that’s a different--