Sanders: We Should Consider ‘Prosecuting’ Fossil Fuel Executives

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) on Wednesday night said he would consider "prosecuting" the executives of fossil fuel firms if he is elected president.

Sanders, one of the frontrunners in the Democratic primary, blasted the fossil fuel industry while participating in MSNBC's presidential debate in Atlanta.

"What we have got to do tonight, and I will do as president, is to tell the fossil fuel industry that their short-term profits are not more important than the future of this planet," Sanders said.

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"By the way, the fossil fuel industry is probably criminally liable, because they have lied, and lied, and lied, when they had the evidence that their carbon products were destroying the planet, and maybe we should think about prosecuting them as well," he said.

Wednesday was not the first time Sanders has talked about pursuing criminal charges against fossil fuel executives. While participating in an MSNBC climate town hall at Georgetown University in September, Sanders said "of course" he would take legal action against fossil fuel companies.

"They knew that it was real," Sanders said, referring to climate change. "Their own scientists told them that it was real. What do you do to people who lied in a very bold-faced way, lied to the American people, lied to the media? How do you hold them accountable?"

Sanders, who has called climate change a "global challenge," released his version of the Green New Deal in August. His plan would require $16.3 trillion in public spending in order to "transition the United States to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 and completely decarbonize by 2050," the Washington Free Beacon reported.