In a Thursday evening interview with Chris Hayes of MSNBC, Senator Bernie Sanders explained how his version of the Green New Deal would essentially nationalize power generation by creating a nationwide sustainable version of the Tennessee Valley Authority to completely replace fossil fuels Wind, sun and other sustainable methods.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: As I see it. We can tackle climate change like Donald Trump. Call it a hoax, deny reality, and that's obviously an incredible threat to the planet, or you could say climate change is real, but we can not do that much. We can not really disturb the economy. We can not do that. We can not do that, we have to look at it from a political point of view, or the third approach that I have chosen here is to say: look, the scientific community tells us we have a handful in many years, in which we are courageous and In order to free ourselves from fossil fuels, sufficient energy supply and sustainable energy supplies, the planet we abandon for our children will be transformative and future generations will become an increasingly unhealthy and uninhabitable planet. Man, I've just come from Paradise, California, and you remember the tragedy there.
CHRIS HAYES, MSNBC: I do.
SANDERS: Unbelievable. Incredible. It looked as though a bomb had been dropped in this community. So if we believe, Chris, that climate change is real, if we believe what scientists say, then we have to be courageous. We have to be inclusive. We have to be aggressive. That's what this plan is about.
HAYES: Part of the plan that fascinates me is how energy is generated and distributed. You're saying that there is publicity ̵1; there is a public federal administration based in the Tennessee Valley Authority in this country and others, and you are basically proposing a federal takeover of the whole thing, an extension of the Tennessee Valley Authority for the whole country Do I understand that correctly?
SANDERS: You're in the stadium, that's right. The TVA has done a lot of good work. It generates electricity from hydropower and other sources. We need an aggressive federal government that says we're going out of the sun and the wind and other sustainable energies and we're going to sell it, and we're going to make some money by the way. But you can not nibble on the edges. We have to change our energy system. That means a massive increase in sustainable energy.
HAYES: So I think people who watch the program know that I'm not a deficit hawk. You know, America is a very prosperous country. It can afford a lot of big investments, but that's really big. The amount of money we're talking about, which is in the plan to replace any old diesel school bus, to replace old mobile homes in the country, right. It is big and comprehensive. When people say to you, how do you pay for it? Can America afford that? Are you saying something?
SANDERS: Well, the first thing we can not afford is that we can not afford it. We play for the future of the planet. We have to do it. And second, we pay for it in different ways. One of the ways we pay for it is a huge federal project that generates sustainable energy and will also make money. In addition, we are eliminating the tax reliefs and subsidies that the fossil fuel industry now receives, and which are indeed massive. Third, we are creating 20 million new jobs as we rebuild our energy system and improve our infrastructure, and these will be well-paid union jobs, and these people will pay taxes, and fourthly, for a variety of reasons we have to cut military spending. Fifth, we are eliminating Trump's huge tax credits for the rich, and have an advanced tax system that encourages large corporations and the wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes.