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Watch: Sen. Kennedy grills Energy Department official on how $50 trillion climate agenda will work

"You don't know, do you?," the Louisiana GOP senator said to the official during a Capitol Hill hearing.

Published: May 5, 2023 3:14pm

Updated: May 5, 2023 3:17pm

A top Energy Department official struggled this week to answer a question this week during a Senate hearing on multi-trillion on a spending plan for the U.S. to reach carbon neutrality.

Louisiana GOP Sen. John Kennedy posed the question to Deputy Energy Secretary David Turk during an Appropriations committee hearing.

"If we spend $50 trillion to become carbon neutral in the United States of America by 2050… give me your estimate of how much that is going to reduce world temperature," asked Kennedy.

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Turk began responding by saying the dollar figure is a "net cost" and :it’s what benefits we’re having from getting our act together and reducing all of those climate benefits, we're seeing" before Kennedy paused him to re-asked the question.

"Let me ask again," Kennedy said "Maybe I’m not being clear: If we spent $50 trillion to become carbon neutral by 2050 how much is that going to reduce world temperatures? ... How much, if we do our part, is it going to reduce world temperatures?”

Turk responded by saying "We’re 13% of global emissions right," to which Kennedy replied: "You don’t know, do you?"

Turk replied: "You can do the math,” Turk replied. 

After a brief back-and-forth, Kennedy said, "You just want us to spend $50 trillion, and you don’t have the slightest idea whether it’s going to reduce world temperatures.

Carbon neutral if the amount of CO₂ emissions being put into the atmosphere being equal to the amount of CO₂ emissions being remove from the atmosphere.

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