Environmentalists have accused Democratic presidential front-runner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of “soft climate denial” after she criticized the environmental record of Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Friends of the Earth Action, which has endorsed Sanders, is claiming Clinton lied about the Vermont senator’s environmental record during an interview Wednesday. Clinton said during the interview she “couldn’t believe Sen. Sanders opposed the Paris Agreement, the best chance we have to actually reverse climate change and deal with the consequences.”
Friends of the Earth promptly attacked Clinton’s comments. “What Secretary Clinton is doing is disgraceful,” Ben Schreiber, a spokesman for Friends of the Earth, said to Environment & Energy Daily. “Secretary Clinton misrepresented Sen. Sanders’ call for stronger action and twisted it to portray him as being weak on climate change.”
The environmental group claims that Sanders did not support President Barack Obama’s Paris agreement because he wanted even bigger cuts to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Friends of the Earth supports Sanders because of his efforts to fight genetically modified food, nuclear power and the Keystone XL pipeline. The group claims Sanders is the only candidate to address “the deep structural social, racial and economic forces that perpetuate a currently unfair and unjust system.”
The environmental group also claims to have “over 2 million members and supporters around the world,” but is poorly funded compared to more established environmental groups. Larger environmental groups, such as the League of Conservation Voters, have endorsed Clinton.
Both Clinton and Sanders have attacked each other for not being sufficiently green and lying about the other’s record on environmental issues.
Last week, Clinton accused Sanders supporters of lying about her taking donations from coal, oil and natural gas companies. The Sanders campaign has slammed Clinton as soft on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which Clinton heavily supported during her tenure as secretary of state.
The two candidates will debate on April 14 in Brooklyn, before the April 19th New York Primary.
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