By Chris White
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders admitted Thursday that some of environmental policies will likely hurt working class Americans.
There will be some pain, the Vermont senator said during the first day of MSNBC’s two-day climate change forum. Sanders, who’s running neck and neck with Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren in the 2020 Democratic primary, was referring to the effect his proposed fracking ban would have on fossil fuel jobs.
“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 told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes.
Sanders did say his plan to makeover the American economy will create “up to 20 million” jobs. He introduced a $16.3-trillion plan similar to the Green New Deal in August, which aims to make 100% of energy for U.S. electricity and transportation renewable by 2030 and have “complete decarbonization” by 2050.
Sanders is not the only Democrat in the presidential field who is etching out such proposals. Sen. Kamala Harris of California and Warren, for their part, are even supporting a ban on hydraulic fracturing, a method designed to extract natural gas from the ground.
Warren and Harris are not planning to attend the forum, which concludes Friday.
MSNBC’s forum is a risky move for candidates who are trying to gain traction. CNN’s seven-hour climate talkathon, for instance, was a ratings dud. Only 1.1 million viewers watched the forum, putting CNN in third place behind Fox News and MSNBC on Sept. 4, according to The Hill, which cited Nielsen Media Research.
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