Sanders holds Senate Budget Committee hearing on cost of inaction on climate change

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Sen. Bernie Sanders, chair of the Senate Budget Committee, says that inaction on climate change will be more costly in the long run than shifting the economy from fossil fuels to more sustainable energy sources.

“Economists have estimated that cost of inaction will total some $34 trillion in the United States alone in lost economic action,” Sanders said at hearing in Washington, D.C. on Thursday. “And more than $100 trillion throughout the world by the end of the century.”

Led by Sanders, Democrats also introduced the End Polluter Welfare Act, which the Vermont senator said will close tax loopholes and eliminate federal subsidies for the oil, coal, and fuel industries. Right now, they get about $15 billion each year from those subsidies, Sanders said.

Sanders says doing nothing will lead to the deaths of 1.5 million people across the globe every year from malnutrition, extreme heat and other factors.

“We have wasted too much time discussing whether or not climate change is real,” Sanders said. “This debate was not fueled by science, but by a decades long campaign funded by the fossil fuel industry.”

Sanders was joined by a handful of panelists to help outline what they call existential threats of climate change and the consequences we are already facing.

“What was once called the novel coronavirus killed 350,000 Americans in 2020,” said David Wallace Wells, author of “The Uninhabitable Earth.” “According to research, 350,000 more will die from the air pollution produced from the burning of fossil fuels.”

Sanders said he invited the CEOs of Exxon, BP, and Chevron to present their side of the story, but they declined to appear.

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