Sanders defends job losses from ending use of fossil fuels

Sanders defends job losses from ending use of fossil fuels
© Greg Nash

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersLawmakers release defense bill with parental leave-for-Space-Force deal Gabbard says she won't participate in next debate even if she qualifies Overnight Health Care — Presented by That's Medicaid — Deal on surprise medical bills faces obstacles | House GOP unveils rival drug pricing measure ahead of Pelosi vote | Justices to hear case over billions in ObamaCare payments MORE (I-Vt.) on Thursday defended his plan to shut down the fossil fuel industry, despite potential downsides for the industry’s employees. 

Sanders’s $16 trillion Green New Deal climate plan calls for eliminating fossil fuel use by 2050. The 2020 presidential candidate spoke more fully about a “just transition” for workers during a MSNBC climate forum at Georgetown University.  

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Moderator Chris Hayes asked Sanders to speak to an oil field worker whose job would be threatened.   

“Bernie Sanders comes in on Day 1 and says no more. What happens?” Hayes asked.

“I’m not going to say Chris, you know if you want to press the point, that there aren’t people who will be hurt. I got that. And it doesn’t make me happy,” Sanders said.

He said a just transition means not holding mainstream employees responsible for causing climate change.

He also said he expects growth in the clean energy sector will create new jobs to replace those lost.

“We are doing everything that we can to protect those workers," he said. "While we will lose some jobs in the transition of course, we’re going to create 20 million new jobs.” 

Sanders’s proposal expands on the Green New Deal resolution introduced in Congress by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezTrump tops list of most tweeted about politicians in 2019 Buttigieg campaign says 2000 people attended Iowa rally Trump keeps Obama immigration program, and Democrats blast him MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyThere's a lot to like about the Senate privacy bill, if it's not watered down Trump administration drops plan to face scan all travelers leaving or entering US Advocates hopeful dueling privacy bills can bridge partisan divide MORE (D-Mass.). Many environmentalists have said they consider it the most robust and ambitious response to climate change. 

The Green New Deal resolution calls for the creation of "millions of good, high-wage jobs and ensure prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States."