Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign attacked Democratic nominee and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her ties to an “anti-coal and anti-shale” environmental group.
The Sierra Club, America’s oldest environmental group, recently announced a $5 million campaign attacking new natural gas plants planned on being built across the country, targeting some swing states. The Club’s president said the campaign was meant to “expand [Clinton’s] ability to hasten the transition away from fossil fuels.”
Trump campaign staffers tied the anti-natural gas campaign to Clinton — who was actually endorsed by the Sierra Club in June.
“Hillary Clinton claims to support American energy jobs, but the truth is that Hillary is fully aligned with anti-coal and anti-shale energy groups and will implement policies, like her trillion dollar climate agenda, that will devastate coal permanently in this country and cut-off access to most of our shale energy resources,” Jason Miller, a Trump spokesman, said in a statement.
Sierra Club is also running a “Beyond Coal” and “Beyond Natural Gas” campaign that targets fossil-fueled power plants. The Club claims to have contributed to the shutdown of about 200 coal-fired power plants in the last six years.
Clinton promises to shut down more coal plants and mines as part of her plan to make the U.S. a “clean energy superpower.” Instead of coal and gas, Clinton wants to install half a billion solar panels by 2020 and generate enough “clean energy” to power every U.S. home.
Trump has attacked Clinton’s energy plan, focusing on remarks the former First Lady made in March about putting “a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”
Clinton apologized for the remarks, but it may be too little, too late. Coal miners and related companies are throwing their support behind Trump.
“Donald Trump supports the use of all sources of American energy, including coal, shale energy, nuclear, renewables and other sources, and he will fight for energy policies that are in the interest of all Americans, not the politically-connected,” Miller said.
Paradoxically, the Sierra Club’s newfound hatred for natural gas comes after years of taking money from a gas company to vilify coal power.
Chesapeake Energy gave the Sierra Club $25 million for its “Beyond Coal” campaign from 2007 to 2010. It wasn’t until current Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune took over that the group stopped taking Chesapeake’s money.
“Trump is jabbing at a beehive by attacking the country’s rapid transition to a booming clean energy economy and the passionate, committed, and talented people who are pushing for the healthy communities Americans want,” said Brune, responding to the Trump campaign Monday.
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