The Democratic Party’s move to push away from the “keep it in the ground” anti-oil movement is gaining steam, as liberal lawmakers continue assaulting the crusade at the Democratic National Convention.
Iowa Congressman Dave Loebsack and former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, both Democrats, used a portion of their commentary at a Wednesday Politico event on energy and climate decrying the movement to force fossil fuels on the dust heap of history.
“We can’t just flip a switch and say ‘no more fossil fuels, now it’s all renewables.’ That’s not practical, it’s not possible,” Loebsack said.
Rendell, who was in office while the natural gas revolution was in its infant stage, seconded Loebsack’s position, adding that fracking is not only beneficial but also necessary.
“But if you regulate it [fracking] well, it can be a valuable source of the economy and good for the environment,” Rendell said, adding that anti-frackers are notoriously intolerant of pro-fracking positions.
The Loebsack and Rendell’s comments echo those made by other liberal government sophisticates, such as Obama Science Advisor John Holdren, who told reporters on July 11 that the anti-oil movement is “unrealistic.”
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign began criticizing the campaign as well, with Clinton’s campaign adviser John Podesta calling “keep it in the ground” activists’ goal “completely impractical.”
The Democratic pushback against anti-oil campaigners has been long in the making, and has included liberal lawmakers and climate scientists alike.
Former NASA climate Scientist James Hansen, for instance, said in a 2013 interview “that renewables will let us phase rapidly off fossil fuels in the United States, China, India, or the world as a whole is almost the equivalent of believing in the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy.”
Democratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, who also spoke at the Politico event, said during a panel discussion in April that anti-fossil fuel activists and “Keep It In The Ground” types are a “small minority” and “not an accurate representation” of the people in his state. He went on to warn his fellow panelists that, “we’re a long way from saying we can walk away from hydrocarbons and not do significant damage to our economy.”
Anti-fracking activists interrupted HIcknlooper’s discussion by unfurling a large banner outside of the event.
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