Sanders: 'To hell with the fossil fuel industry’

Sanders: 'To hell with the fossil fuel industry’
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Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersDe Blasio headed to Iowa to speak at political fundraiser Yes, spills happen — but pipelines are still the safest way to move oil Why sexual harassment discussions include lawmakers talking about Bill Clinton’s past MORE (I-Vt.) on Saturday called for Republicans to abandon the corrupting influence of the Koch brothers and other wealthy energy magnates.

“This is a party that rejects science and refuses to understand that climate change is real,” he said of GOP during the annual Blue Jamboree in North Charleston, S.C.

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“I understand if you stand up to the Koch brothers and the fossil fuel industry, that you’ll lose your campaign contributions,” the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate added.

“[Climate change] is already causing devastating problems all over this world. To hell with the fossil fuel industry. Worry more about your children and your grandchildren than your campaign contributions.”

Sanders linked wealthy energy interests with overall corporate power, arguing that Wall Street must improve society.

“When Wall Street went broke, they came begging to Congress for help. Now it’s Wall Street’s turn to bail out the middle class of this country," he said.

“While people are working so hard, what is going on all is that almost all of the income and wealth that is being created is going to the top 1 percent,” Sanders continued. "That is not what America is about."

The Koch brothers’ vast donor network spent $129 million during the 2014 election cycle, according to an IRS filing released Tuesday.

That amount is more than five times the $22.3 million David and Charles Koch spent in 2013, the IRS filing said.

The siblings’ political network has previously committed $889 million towards conservative and libertarian principles during the 2016 presidential election. 

Charles Koch has suggested about $250 million of that amount is for defeating Democrats during next year’s White House and Congressional races.

Sanders has long decried the influence the Kochs and other energy moguls play in working against tackling climate change.

“When you have people like the Koch brothers and ExxonMobil today spending huge amounts of money trying to deny that reality, it slows up the entire world from aggressively addressing what is an international crisis,” he said late last month. "This is serious stuff.”