Sanders Says His Climate Change Remedy Will Bring 'Economic Dislocation,' Job Losses

By Susan Jones | April 15, 2016 | 10:19am EDT
Sen. Bernie Sanders says his climate change plan would bring economic dislocation, including job losses. (AP File Photo)

( - Climate change is a "global crisis," and addressing it will bring "economic disloation," including job losses, Sen. Bernie Sanders said at Thursday's CNN-hosted Democrat debate in Brooklyn.

"Pope Francis reminded us that we are on a suicide course," Sanders said. "Our legislation understands, ...that there will be economic dislocation. It is absolutely true. There will be some people who lose their job. And we build into our legislation an enormous amount of money to protect those workers. It is not their fault that fossil fuels are destroying our climate.

"But we have got to stand up and say right now, as we would if we were attacked by some military force, we have got to move...urgently and boldly."

Sanders has called for a nationwide ban on fracking, a phase-out of all nuclear power in the U.S., and a carbon tax. "We have got to tell the fossil fuel industry that their short-term profits are not more important than the future of this planet," he said.

Sanders also has introduced legislation calling for 10 million "solar rooftops," as he described them. "We can put probably millions of people to work retrofitting and weatherizing buildings all over this country -- saving -- rebuilding our rail system, our mass transit system.

Clinton told the gathering that she's set "big goals" for addressing climate change.

"I want to see us deploy a half a billion more solar panels by the end of my first term and enough clean energy to provide electricity to every home in America within 10 years.

"So I have big, bold goals, but I know in order to get from where we are, where the world is still burning way too much coal, where the world is still too intimidated by countries and providers like Russia, we have got to make a very firm but decisive move in the direction of clean energy."

Clinton said she would build on what President Obama has accomplished -- "building on the clean power plan, which is currently under attack by fossil fuels and the right in the Supreme Court, which is one of the reasons why we need to get the Supreme Court justice that President Obama has nominated to be confirmed so that we can actually continue to make progress."

She noted that Sanders  has not been able to pass his legislation: "And my approach I think is going to get us there faster without tying us up into political knots with a Congress that still would not support what you are proposing," she told the senator.

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