July 16, 2015

Hillary Clinton Has A Climate Change Problem

Hillary Clinton got heckled this afternoon at a town hall event intended to discuss her profit sharing plan in New Hampshire over her position on climate change.

Asked early in the event if she would support a ban on extracting fossil fuels from public lands, Clinton responded that she couldn’t do that but supported expanding wind, solar, and biofuels.

When she was asked again about the topic, specifically if her “refusal to take leadership on climate change” is “due to the fact that that you have contributions from the fossil fuel industry in your campaign?”

Clinton responded no, but the damage was done. Climate change voters sprung up all across the room, some waving signs, and turning the town hall into an outright protest.

The problem runs deeper than today’s push-back from environmentalists. Just yesterday, an MSNBC headline read, “Is Hillary Clinton all talk, no substance on climate policy?”

“Our movement is looking for a candidate who has the political courage to move us off fossil fuels in time to avert catastrophic global warming,” Karthik Ganapathy, a spokesperson for 350 Action, said in an email. “Given her murky history on this issue, Hillary Clinton needs to do a lot to show us that’s her.”

The biggest deal-breakers of all, however, are all still pending. What is Clinton’s position on continued drilling in the Arctic? What does she think about the proposed construction of the Keystone XL pipeline? She hasn’t taken a stance on either project yet. But activists have come out in force to fight both, and unless Clinton falls in line — and soon — they might end up fighting her as well. 

And back in January when it was reported Clinton would give a speech to a Canadian bank with ties to the Keystone XL pipeline, well-known environmentalist Bill McKibben shared his disappointment in Clinton:

It’s unclear how Clinton plans to tamp down these kinds of outbursts at further events, but it’s clear climate change activists are looking for a real plan from Clinton rather than bland platitudes.