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Warren Blames Fossil Fuel Industry for Distracting Voters With Hamburgers, Straws

'This is exactly what the fossil fuel industry hopes we are all talking about'

• September 5, 2019 9:25 am

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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) blamed the fossil fuel industry for distracting voters with hamburgers and straws during Wednesday's CNN climate town hall.

Moderator Chris Cuomo asked Warren whether the government should be in the business of telling consumers what light bulbs they can buy, prompting Warren to respond, "Oh, come on. Give me a break."

"Is that a yes?" Cuomo asked.

"No. Look, there are a lot of ways that we try to change our energy consumption and our pollution and God bless all of those ways," Warren said. "Some of it is with light bulbs. Some of it is on straws. Some of it is on cheeseburgers, right? There are a lot of different pieces to this and I get it that people are trying to find the part that they can work on and what they can do and I'm in favor of that."

She then appeared visibly annoyed while attacking the fossil fuel industry, saying, "This is exactly what the fossil fuel industry hopes we are all talking about."

"That's what they want us to talk about. This is your problem. They want to be able to stir up a lot of controversy around the lightbulbs, around your straws, and around your cheeseburgers," Warren said. "When 70 percent of the pollution of the carbon that we are throwing into the air comes from three industries and we can set our targets and say by 2028, 2030, and 2035 no more. Think about that."

Warren accused the fossil fuel industry of "corruption" and then said corporations are using PR firms to push out distractions so everyone can have "fun with it." She said as a result people aren't paying attention to who is still "making the big bucks."

Warren wasn't the only 2020 presidential candidate who discussed meat and straws during CNN's marathon of climate town halls. Earlier in the night, Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) was asked if she supports banning plastic straws.

"I think we should. Yes," Harris responded.

Harris also said she would like to see the government create "incentives" for Americans to eat less meat and "encourage moderation."