Clinton is uniquely unsuited to the epic task of confronting the
fossil-fuel companies that profit from climate change.
By Naomi Klein
|Hillary Clinton and Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein at the Clinton Global Initiative in 2014.|
There aren’t a lot of certainties left in the US presidential race, but here’s one thing about which we can be absolutely sure: The Clinton camp doesn’t like talking about fossil-fuel money. Last week, when a young Greenpeace campaigner challenged Hillary Clinton about taking money from fossil-fuel companies, the candidate accused the Bernie Sanders campaign of “lying” and declared herself “so sick” of it. As the exchange went viral, a succession of high-powered Clinton supporters pronounced that there was nothing to see here and that everyone should move along.
The very suggestion that taking this money could impact Clinton’s actions is “baseless and should stop,” according to California Senator Barbara Boxer. It’s “flat-out false,” “inappropriate,” and doesn’t “hold water,” declared New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. as to issue “guidelines for good and bad behavior” for the Sanders camp. The first guideline? Cut out the “innuendo suggesting, without evidence, that Clinton is corrupt.” columnist
That’s a whole lot of firepower to slap down a non-issue. So is it an issue or not?
First, some facts. Hillary Clinton’s campaign, including her Super PAC, has received a lot of money from the employees and registered lobbyists of fossil-fuel companies. There’s the much-cited , which includes bundling by lobbyists.
But that's not all. There is also a lot more money from sources not included in those calculations. For instance, one of Clinton's most prominent and active financial backers is Warren Buffet. While he owns a large mix of assets, Buffett is up to his eyeballs in coal, including coal transportation and some of the dirtiest coal-fired power plants in the country.
Then there's all the case that fossil-fuel companies have directly pumped into the Clinton Foundation. In recent years, Exxon, Shell, ConocoPhillips, and Chevron have all contributed to the foundation. in the just revealed that at least two of these oil companies were part of an effort to lobby Clinton’s State Department about the Alberta tar sands, a massive deposit of extra-dirty oil. Leading have explained that if we don’t keep the vast majority of that carbon in the ground, we will unleash catastrophic levels of warming.
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