Leaked emails show that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton told union members in September that she supports the fracking industry and believes anti-fracking extremists should “get a life.”
“[M]y view is I want to defend natural gas,” the former secretary of state said in a transcript of a private meeting with a union that was sent to her campaign. WikiLeaks, which illegally hacked accounts of Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta, made the conversation public.
Podesta, for his part, condemned the hacked emails Monday, telling reporters he doesn’t know where the “unauthentic” emails originated. The Clinton’s fracking admission was one of nearly 6,000 emails that have been leaked over the course of the past couple of months.
She doubled down on her support for the industry later in the discussion, telling those in attendance that she wants “to defend repairing and building the pipelines we need to fuel our economy. I want to defend fracking under the right circumstances.”
Clinton also told the union members that her Democratic opponent in the primaries, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, represents an extreme variant of environmentalism — one that preaches that all fossil fuels should be kept in the ground, regardless their benefits.
“So you know Bernie Sanders is getting lots of support from the most radical environmentalists because he’s out there every day bashing the Keystone pipeline,” the Democratic nominee said in the transcripts. “And, you know, I’m not into it for that.”
Clinton went on to say she wants to strike the “right balance” between energy and environmentalism, “and that’s what I’m [inaudible] about — getting all the stakeholders together.”
“Everybody’s not going to get everything they want, that’s not the way it’s supposed to work in a democracy, but everybody needs to listen to each other,” Clinton added.
Another spat of leaked emails from Oct. 12 showed that Clinton’s presidential campaign called Sanders’ pitch for a fracking ban in Colorado “irresponsible.” The leaked emails indicate the Clinton team realizes the risk of proposing an outright ban on fracking in Colorado, a state heavily dependent on gas production.
What does a complete fracking ban in Colorado mean, asked Clinton advisor Brad Komar, according to one of the memos.
The campaign also floated the possibility of using environmentalists as attacks dogs against Sanders’ anti-fracking position, including Colorado Rep. Jared Polis, a Democrat and proponent of regulating fracking.
Clinton’s comments to the union group, as well as those she made in the Oct. 12 email, stand in stark contrast to remarks she made during the March 6 primary debate in Flint, Mich.
“I don’t support it when any locality or any state is against it, No. 1. I don’t support it when the release of methane or contamination of water is present. I don’t support it–No. 3–unless we can require that anybody who fracks has to tell us exactly what chemicals they are using,” she said at the time.
The Democratic nominee added that she does “not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place,” as a result of all the stipulations and regulations she would heap on top of the industry.
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