Arnold Schwarzenegger might have taken over the primary role of Donald Trump’s TV series The Apprentice for one season, but make no mistake, he isnt’ on board with the president’s agenda. In fact, the former California governor isn’t going after just Trump, but after the entire oil industry.
“We’re going to go after them, and we’re going to be in there like an Alabama tick,” said an energized Schwarzenegger during POLITICO’s Off Message podcast at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas. “Because to me it’s absolutely irresponsible to know that your product is killing people and not have a warning label on it, like tobacco.”
“Every gas station on it, every car should have a warning label on it, every product that has fossil fuels should have a warning label on it,” added the environmental activist, who ironically enough is a registered Republican.
Schwarzenegger’s Next Steps
Schwarzenegger said during the podcast that he’s working with several law firms on how to file a suit against the oil industry. The outspoken politician compared the industry’s damage to the environment to big tobacco’s negligent harm on people’s health.
“The tobacco industry knew for years and years and years and decades, that smoking would kill people, would harm people and create cancer, and were hiding that fact from the people and denied it,” he said.
The movie star claimed that big oil has known about the devastating environment effect on people’s health resulting from fossil fuels since 1959. “I don’t think there’s any difference,” argues Schwarzenegger. “If you walk into a room and you know you’re going to kill someone, it’s first-degree murder; I think it’s the same thing with the oil companies.”
He might be the most widely-recognizable politician to go after big oil right now, but he’s definitely not the first to point the finger at the oil industry for Earth’s global warming woes. New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio went after several large oil companies a few months ago, and has plans to divest up to $5 billion of the city’s pension funds away from fossil fuel reserve owners.
As for President Trump, who has been a large denier of climate change and bragged about revitalizing parts of the fossil fuel industry such as coal, Schwarzenegger took an opportunity to throw a few jabs at him. “The T-800 model that I play, he’s traveling back in time to 2019 to get Trump out of prison,” joked the actor in reference to a new Terminator movie that he’s set to start filming in June.
When it came to the Republican party, Schwarzenegger cautioned members of the GOP in his state to get out of an ideology that “doesn’t really fit anymore with what people want.” However, Schwarzenegger does seem optimistic about a section of his party, however small that section may be. “The Republicans that are the new thinking Republicans in California want to get things done,” he said.