Greens and climate justice-types cheered Sen. Bernie Sanders during Thursday night’s Democratic debate as he ripped into Hillary Clinton over what he called the former secretary of state’s alleged flip flops on hydraulic fracking.
The two Democratic presidential candidates argued back-and-forth about how the Paris climate summit in December will result in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in China.
At one point Sanders needled Clinton over her past support for fracking, which consequently sent environmentalists into a frenzy.
Climate social justice advocates flayed Clinton on social media shortly after the debate, criticizing her on Twitter for her supposed support of the fossil fuel industry and tweeted praise for Sanders’ belligerent views on natural gas production.
Clean energy activist and fossil fuel divestment warrior Bill McKibben, for instance, criticized Clinton in a tweet following the debate, saying her view that natural gas is a “bridge fuel” to the future does a disservice to the environment.
Anti-fracking Filmmaker Josh Fox lambasted Clinton on Twitter as well for being absent on the fight against hydraulic fracturing. Fox produced the Oscar-nominated documentary “Gasland,” which details the history of fracking and its so-called destructive properties.
Meanwhile, Clinton and Sanders spent the climate change section of the debate trying to one-up each other on who would be the best climate change warrior.
“When you were secretary of state, you also worked hard to expand fracking to countries all over the world,” Sanders said in response to Clinton’s championing China’s moves to go green.
Clinton’s promotion of fracking as secretary of state is well documented. The former First Lady called natural gas “the cleanest fossil fuel available for power generation today,” during a 2009 speech in front of the Inter-American Development Bank.
Sanders, a self-proclaimed Democratic socialist from Vermont, was not impressed with Clinton’s reluctance to outright decry fracking.
Instead of using natural gas development to slowly ratchet down greenhouse gas emissions, the U.S. needs to move quickly to get off fossil fuels entirely, Sanders said at Thursday’s CNN debate,
“We have got to lead the world in transforming our energy systems — not tomorrow, but yesterday. And what that means … is having the guts to take on the fossil fuel industry,” he added.
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