January 22, 2016

Contact: Lindsay Meiman, (347) 460-9082

Video: Asked About Fracking, Clinton Refuses to Take Strong Position

Rochester, NH — When asked by Zach Adinolfi, a freshman at the University of New Hampshire, if she supports the Porter Ranch communities who are experiencing the firsthand dangers of methane leaks from fracking, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton expressed her support for stopping the leak, but failed to take a strong position on fracking.

“If Secretary Clinton isn’t sure that the problems with the technology can be solved, then she should come out in favor of a firm moratorium,” said 350 Action Spokesperson Linda Capato Jr. “Clinton says she opposes the ‘irresponsible’ use of fracking technology, but the truth is that there’s no regulation or technology that can make this extreme extraction safe — scientists have made clear the risk it poses to the climate and communities who experience impacts firsthand. True climate leadership requires a commitment to move away from all fossil fuels and towards 100% renewable energy.”

While some once touted natural gas as a “bridge fuel” to a clean energy future, numerous reports, studies, and outside analyses have concluded that the climate benefits of gas have been overplayed and that there is little room in the global carbon budget for anything but a full transition to 100% renewable energy. At the same time, the dangers of fracking, from earthquakes to methane leaks to water contamination, continue to become more apparent.

“Porter Ranch isn’t the only fossil fuel disaster unfolding here in California,” Capato said. “Children are returning home with headaches and nausea after going to school next to fracking wells in the Central Valley, farmers are being forced to spray their crops with fracking wastewater laden with benzene and other toxic chemicals. If Clinton is serious that environmental justice should be more than a slogan, then she needs to come out firmly against fracking and stop dodging the issue.”

Climate activists remain concerned about Clinton’s ties to big oil and gas and the State Department’s role in promoting the practice of fracking abroad during Clinton’s leadership there.


Full transcript:

Zach Adinolfi: If environmental justice is your goal and not your slogan, do you support the Porter Ranch communities by opposing fracking?

Hillary Clinton: Sorry, what communities?

Adinolfi: Porter Ranch, California where there’s a gas explosion leaking1

Clinton: Oh, yeah I’ve heard about that. You know, first of all, we gotta stop the leak, right?

Adinolfi: Absolutely.

Clinton: I mean, that’s the biggest priority. What I’ve said is we have to do a lot more research to see what areas are suitable for that and what aren’t.

Adinolfi: But do you oppose fracking?

Clinton: [Pause] I oppose irresponsible use of technology. I oppose a failure to disclose the chemicals. I oppose a lack of monitoring of methane. So, those are all the problems, and I don’t know whether they can be solved or not.


350 Action is working 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.

1 The Porter Ranch disaster is a methane leak.