MEDIA ADVISORY: Chairman Sanders Announces Senate Budget Committee Hearing on the Cost of Inaction on Climate Change

WASHINGTON, April 8 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today announced that the Senate Budget Committee will hold a hearing Thursday, April 15 at 11 a.m., on “The Cost of Inaction on Climate Change.”

2019 set the record for global carbon pollution, while 2020 tied for the warmest year on record. Last year also saw the worst U.S. wildfire season and the most active Atlantic hurricane season on record. More than 20% of humanity’s total emissions have occurred over the past 10 years, and in the past 20 years emissions have increased by 45%.

Inaction on climate change could eventually cost the U.S. $34.5 trillion in economic activity by the end of the century and cause up to 295,000 avoidable deaths by 2030 and one million by 2050.

Sanders has invited the chief executives of Chevron, ExxonMobil, and BP America to testify – an invitation BP America and Chevron have already declined. Together Michael Wirth, CEO of Chevron, Darren Woods, CEO of ExxonMobil, and David Lawler, Chairman and President of BP America, represent the largest privately-held fossil fuel companies in the world, which are in turn responsible for nearly a tenth of global carbon emissions since 1965. The companies hover at the top of the list of the 20 international conglomerates that account for more than a third of all global emissions between 1965 to 2019, all while raking in billions in exorbitant profits.

American taxpayers are currently on the hook for about $15 billion per year in direct federal subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. In 2019, the fossil fuel industry spent $190 million lobbying Congress for more polluter welfare and the fossil fuel industry received more than $8.2 billion in benefits from the CARES Act.

Hearing Details
What: Hearing of the Committee on the Budget to consider “The Cost of Inaction on Climate Change”
When: Thursday, April 15, 2021, 11:00 a.m. ET
Where: Room SH-216. The hearing will also be livestreamed on the Budget Committee’s website and Sanders’ social media pages.
David Wallace-Wells, Editor-at-Large, New York Magazine, Author, The Uninhabitable Earth
Dr. Robert B. Litterman, Chair, Climate-Related Market Risk Subcommittee and Commodity Futures Trading Commission
Dr. Joseph Stiglitz, Professor of Economics, Columbia University
George R. Oliver, Chairman and CEO, Johnson Controls, Chair, Business Roundtable Energy and Environment Committee
Richard J. Powell, Executive Director, ClearPath Inc.

A previous version of this advisory incorrectly cited profit numbers for ExxonMobil, BP America and Chevron in 2020. We regret the error.