Politics

WATCH: Kennedy stumps Biden official on $50 trillion cost to fight climate change: ‘You don’t know, do you?’

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., left one Biden administration official without words Wednesday when he pressed him to answer one simple question: How much would spending $50 trillion in American taxpayer money to become carbon-neutral lower global temperatures?

‘If we spend $50 trillion to become carbon-neutral by 2050 in the United States of America, how much is that going to reduce world temperatures?’ Kennedy asked Deputy Energy Secretary David Turk during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing.

Turk appeared unable to provide a specific number, and instead began arguing that the U.S. needed to do everything it could to reduce carbon emissions before being interrupted by Kennedy pressing for an answer to the question.

‘How much, if we do our part, is it going to reduce world temperatures?’ Kennedy asked again.

‘So, we’re 13% of global emissions right now,’ Turk responded, before Kennedy jumped in again, saying, ‘You don’t know, do you? You don’t know, do you?’

‘You don’t know, do you, Mr. Secretary?’ Kennedy asked as Turk appeared to continue dancing around the question. ‘If you know, why won’t you tell me?’

‘If we went to zero, that would be 13% —’ Turk said.

‘You don’t know, do you? You just want us to spend $50 trillion, and you don’t have the slightest idea whether it’s going to reduce world temperatures,’ Kennedy said. 

‘Now, I’m all for carbon neutrality, but you’re the deputy secretary of the Department of Energy, and you’re advocating we spend trillions of dollars to seek carbon neutrality, and you can’t — and this isn’t your money or my money, it’s taxpayer money — and you can’t tell me how much it’s going to lower world temperatures? Or you won’t tell me? You know, but you won’t?’ he continued.

Turk responded that in his ‘heart of hearts’ the rest of the world wouldn’t act on climate change unless the U.S. led on the issue, but did not provide an answer to Kennedy’s question.

‘Tell me how much it’s going to reduce — you can’t tell me. Either that, or you won’t,’ Kennedy said before moving on.

Some climate experts have claimed it will cost $50 trillion for the U.S. to reach carbon neutrality, which would include investing in so-called green energy and other things like electric vehicles.

Critics have, however, argued that there is no guarantee spending that amount would have any effect on climate change across the globe if other countries don’t take similar action.

Fox News’ Matteo Cina contributed to this report.

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