February 3, 2016

Contact: Lindsay Meiman, (347) 460-9082


Clinton Pledges to “Stop Fossil Fuels,” But Would Not Ban Fracking As President

Hampton, NH — 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.


“Pledge to Stop Fossil Fuels” Video:

Full Transcript:

Lauren Quest: Secretary Clinton, will you pledge to stop taking money from fossil fuel lobbyists?

Hillary Clinton: I don’t think I do.

Quest: No, you definitely do. The Huffington Post said that you took $150,000 from fossil fuel lobbyists.

Clinton: Is that right?

Quest: Will you pledge to stop taking money from fossil fuel lobbyists?

Clinton: I’m gonna pledge to stop fossil fuels. That’s a lot better. Thanks.


“Would Not Ban Fracking” Video:

Full Transcript:

Ella Cederholm: I’m wondering, will you pledge to not use fracking if you become president?

Hillary Clinton: No. And I’ll tell you why.

Cederholm: Why?

Clinton: Because there are some parts of the country where it can be done safely, where you can control the methane. We have to have every chemical disclosed. We have to make sure that local communities can say no, but we can’t totally say never under any circumstances. We have to move away from fossil fuels. That’s my plan, that’s what I’ve laid out, I have a much more comprehensive plan for how we’re gonna take the money from the oil and gas lobby and put it towards clean renewable energy. That’s what I’m gonna do.

Cederholm: Fracking does–you lose a lot of water into the earth. If you lose the water, there are horrible things about fracking, and in order to keep–

Clinton: That’s why local communities should be able to say no. Local communities are saying no, and they should be able to say no.

Cederholm: Well I want you to know that as a young supporter, I support Bernie because he’s against fracking, and I think a lot of the young supporters with me–

Sec Clinton: That is your right. That is your right. But as president of the United States, if we had an emergency, an energy emergency, it would be a very difficult thing if we had shut down every single opportunity to create domestic energy. I don’t think that will happen, but as president, I have to think about every possible contingency to keep our country safe, to keep the economy growing, to give people of all ages, especially young people, jobs, so I’m gonna do everything I can to limit it, and prevent it from ever hurting, but I think we have be a very clear view about what will work and about what won’t work.


350 Action has not endorsed any candidate for president and during the busy months ahead will continue to work in primary states to urge candidates for president to take bold action on climate change by pledging to keep fossil fuels in the ground and support a just transition to a 100% renewable energy future.