Clinton Pledges to “Stop Fossil Fuels,” But Would Not Ban Fracking As President.
After a virtual tie with Bernie Sanders in Iowa, Hillary Clinton is still struggling to win over the trust of young people and voters who list climate change as a top priority.
Asked last night by Lauren Quest, a sophomore at Oyster River High School, if she would pledge to stop accepting money from the fossil fuel industry, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said that she is “going to pledge to stop fossil fuels.” But later that evening Clinton told Ella Cederholm, a first year at the University of New Hampshire, that she would continue to utilize fracking as President.
“Pledging to ‘stop all fossil fuels’ is an empty claim when followed by expressing support for fracking. Clinton is still failing to convince voters that she will act on climate injustices and reform the most dangerous and extreme extraction practices,” said Yong Jung Cho, Campaign Coordinator with 350 Action. “With the New Hampshire primary just days away, Clinton needs to do more than make bold claims that she thinks captures what voters want to hear.”
Until this point in the campaign, Clinton has avoided taking a firm position on fracking. As climate concerns increase, 350 Action volunteers and individuals across the country have been pushing the former Secretary of State to lay out exactly how she plans to keep fossil fuels in the ground. Just last week, in response a question about the ongoing Porter Ranch methane disaster, Clinton told a 350 Action volunteer that “unless spills can be prevented it should not go forward.”
Historically, Clinton has troublesome ties to the fossil fuel industry and the practice of fracking in particular. During her tenure as Secretary of State, Clinton traveled abroad promoting fracking. While her campaign now boasts about renewable energy goals, she is credited with “selling fracking to the world.”
Clinton’s support for fracking and her continued acceptance of fossil fuel industry donations present a striking difference between her and fellow Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
In December, Clinton told a 350 Action volunteer that she was unaware of receiving any donations from the fossil fuel industry. Though she vowed to investigate further, it appears she has not yet done so.
“Voters are still concerned about Clinton’s ties to the fossil fuel industry,” said Cho. “While she’s spoken out admirably about the tragedy in Flint, she’s stayed silent on the natural gas disaster in Porter Ranch. A national ban on fracking is the only way to keep our climate and communities safe. Until Clinton takes a more progressive position, she’s going to continue to struggle attracting climate voters and young people.”
Climate change continues to be a top tier issue in the 2016 election, as Democrats compete to see who has the strongest plan to take on the fossil fuel industry and Republicans tie themselves into knots trying to explain their climate denial.