Bernie Considering Prosecuting Oil Industry Over So-Called Climate Change


It’s not exactly a new policy from everyone’s favorite cantankerous socialist, but Wednesday’s Democratic debate in Atlanta was the first time that many Americans were introduced to it.

Sen. Bernie Sanders wants to prosecute oil industry executives because he says they knew about climate change and didn’t do enough about it.

Sanders came in during the big climate-change battle of the night between gaffe-machine Joe Biden and billionaire activist/zero-chance vanity candidate Tom Steyer as to who hadn’t done enough to stop the use of fossil fuels.

Apparently, the moderators either had a rule on time or were tired of an old man taking his last chance at the presidency and an old man with no chance at the presidency arguing about fossil fuels, so they decided to let an older man with a chance somewhere in between there have his say.

My guess is that it was probably some combination of the two. Either way, it was time for everyone to feel the Bern for not doing enough about burning fossil fuels.

PGA Tour Golfer Dies a Day After Suddenly Withdrawing from Tournament

“Tom, you talked about the need to make climate change a national emergency,” Sanders said.

“I’ve introduced legislation to just do that.”

Do you think oil industry executives should be prosecuted?

Oh, but Bernie went further. He said that the scientists were saying that “if we don’t get our act together in the next eight or nine years, we’re talking about cities all over the world, major cities going underwater.”

“We’re talking about increased drought, we’re talking about increased, extreme weather disturbances,” he said, adding that the United Nations said that we’re going to be dealing with “hundreds of millions of climate refugees, causing massive national security issues all over the world.”

Wait, I thought that refugees were unequivocally good for — oh, who cares because it gets crazier from there.

Sanders promised “to tell the fossil fuel industry that their short term profits are not more important than the future of this planet,” all while doing that crazy pointing thing that doesn’t really get mocked enough.

“And by the way — the fossil fuel industry is probably criminally liable,” Sanders said.

Pete Buttigieg Says He's Found Source of Rash of Troubled Flights: 'Climate Change'

“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.”

Well, that’s quite the ceterum censeo. Fossil fuels are evil — and moreover, I believe the fossil fuel industry shouldn’t just be destroyed but its leaders should be prosecuted for doing their jobs.

By the way, this isn’t a “maybe” for Sanders. This is a “definitely.”

“Fossil fuel executives should be criminally prosecuted for the destruction they have knowingly caused,” Sanders tweeted in August, along with the hashtag “#GreenNewDeal.”

This apparently becomes a “definitely maybe” when people who aren’t familiar with his rhetoric or his Twitter account are watching, but for the others, you can pretty much take your editor’s pen and scratch the “maybe” part out of that two-word construction.

Well, at least we now know that his Green New Deal is more untenable than we originally thought. Not only would it end up costing an obscene amount of money, but it would also prosecute oil executives, potentially putting them behind bars because Sanders thinks, absent of real evidence to that end, that these men and women knew they were destroying the planet through “climate change.”

By the way, haven’t we moved on to call this the “climate crisis“? Democrats should really get their act together.

This is one of the most ridiculous aspects of the Democrat debates: The strange desire for each candidate to top one another. “Yes, you two want to argue over who’s going to do more to declare climate change a ‘national emergency?’ Yes, well, I already introduced legislation to do this — and I’m going to put people in jail!”

Whatever. This is all fundamentally silly until people expect these candidates to follow through on this rhetoric when they get into office. Let’s hope it never gets to that, lest we are plunged into the 1800s.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , , ,
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture