Sanders: 'Hurricane Dorian has everything to do with climate change'

Sanders: 'Hurricane Dorian has everything to do with climate change'
© Greg Nash

White House hopeful Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersDemocratic senators call on domestic airlines to issue cash refunds for travelers Sanders still sees 'narrow path' to Democratic presidential nomination Tenants call on lawmakers to pass rent freezes MORE (I-Vt.) on Tuesday directly linked Hurricane Dorian with climate change, lambasting the fossil fuel industry for its contribution to the climate crisis.

"The fossil fuel industry is now the equivalent of the tobacco industry. It creates death and destruction, then spends billions denying its responsibility," the Vermont lawmaker tweeted.

"Let us be clear: Hurricane Dorian has everything to do with climate change, which is the existential crisis of our time," he added.

Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas as a Category 5 storm on Sunday, with five confirmed deaths so far.

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The storm is now likely to hit the Eastern Seaboard, with strong winds and heavy rains expected to batter the region.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpIllinois governor says state has gotten 10 percent of medical equipments it's requested Biden leads Trump by 6 points in national poll Tesla offers ventilators free of cost to hospitals, Musk says MORE declared a state of emergency for Georgia on Sunday as Hurricane Dorian continued to head toward the U.S. Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina are also in states of emergency ahead of the storm’s attack.

Virginia became the latest state to declare a state of emergency, with Gov. Ralph Northam (D) making the declaration on Monday. The hurricane is expected to hit the southeast portion of the state Thursday.

Scientific research has found that climate change is increasing the intensity of tropical storms, resulting in more rainfall and flooding.

Storms are also increasingly stalling, as Dorian did over the Bahamas, although that phenomenon has not been directly linked to climate change, according to scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

Sanders unveiled a sweeping multitrillion-dollar climate plan last month that has received praise from environmental activists.

The Vermont lawmaker has frequently targeted the fossil fuel industry while discussing climate change, promising to sue companies in hopes of extracting huge settlements that could help fund his proposed transition to a clean energy economy.