Energy

Hickenlooper Signs No Fossil Fuel Pledge, Then Realizes What It Actually Is

REUTERS/Rick Wilking

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter

Democratic presidential candidate John Hickenlooper signed a No Fossil Fuel Pledge, then crossed his name out when explained the details of the pledge.

While speaking to prospective voters at a local bar in Newmarket, New Hampshire, Hickenlooper stepped into an awkward situation when one audience member asked if he would sign the No Fossil Fuel Pledge — an oath not to knowingly accept campaign donations of over $200 from the oil, gas and coal industry.

The former Democratic governor, at first, quickly agreed to sign the pledge, and even took it a step further by saying he would not accept any dollar amount from fossil fuel corporations.

“I’m crossing out the $200,” Hickenlooper told the audience. “I’m not going to take any corporate donations at all.”

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However, when Griffin Sinclair-Wingate, a member with the New Hampshire Youth Movement, later clarified to Hickenlooper that the pledge included not just corporations, but individuals tied to fossil fuel companies as well, the Democratic candidate crossed his name out and said it was an “impossible” pledge to abide by.

“We get a thousand checks a day. People write them all the time,” he said. “How can I sign this? You’ve made an impossible thing to sign if someone is going to run a race.”

Former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) speaks at the United States Conference of Mayors winter meeting in Washington, U.S., January 24, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas.

Former Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) speaks at the United States Conference of Mayors winter meeting in Washington, U.S., January 24, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas.

The exchange drew similarities to fellow Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke’s apparent misunderstanding of the pledge. Originally a signer of the pledge during his failed 2018 Senate campaign in Texas, O’Rourke was later removed from the list in December 2018 when it was revealed his campaign accepted a total of $430,000 from executives working on the oil and gas sector — including 29 donations that topped $200. (RELATED: Green Energy Companies Aren’t Backing The Green New Deal)

When asked to sign the pledge by the New Hampshire Youth Movement in March, O’Rourke declined.

The 2020 Democratic presidential contenders are divided over the pledge. Six major candidates have officially committed to the tenets of the oath, according to the No Fossil Fuel Money website. However, nine other candidates have not done so.

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