Just before Joe Biden took the stage at CNN‘s 2020 presidential forum on the climate crisis in New York Wednesday night, The Intercept reported the former vice president on Thursday is planning to attend a big-money fundraiser co-hosted by a fossil fuel executive—news that sparked immediate fury and calls for him to cancel the event.
“Holding this fundraiser clearly violates the spirit of the No Fossil Fuel Money pledge that Biden signed,” Varshini Prakash, co-founder of the youth-led Sunrise Movement, said in a statement. “If Biden is serious about taking on the power of the fossil fuel lobby, why is he going to a fundraiser hosted by the co-founder of a natural gas company?”
“That corruption needs to end if we’re going to have any chance at securing a livable future.”
—Varshini Prakash, Sunrise Movement
During the CNN town hall, Issac Larkin, a doctoral candidate at Northwestern University and a volunteer with Sunrise Chicago, directly confronted Biden over the planned $2,800-per-ticket fundraiser, which is set to take place at the New York home of investment banker David Solomon.
“How can we trust you to hold these corporations and executives accountable for their crimes against humanity when we know that, tomorrow, you are holding a high-dollar fundraiser hosted by Andrew Goldman, a fossil fuel executive?” Larkin asked.
Biden initially responded by denying that Goldman, co-founder of the Houston-based natural gas company Western LNG, is a fossil fuel executive.
Pressed by CNN host Anderson Cooper, Biden said he “didn’t realize” Goldman’s position and insisted he was told by his staff that Goldman “did not have any responsibility remaining to the company.”
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