It would be nice if just once, she came right out and told us what she has planned — keeping in mind, of course, that she intends to govern and won’t really offer voters a Christmas list of what they want if she can’t deliver:
Hillary Clinton’s newly unveiled climate vision sounds ambitious on its face: 500 million new solar panels from coast to coast, eco-minded energy tax breaks and enough green power to keep the lights on in every U.S. home.
But just as glaring were the details she left out.
Does Clinton support or oppose the Keystone XL oil pipeline? Or Arctic offshore drilling? Or tougher restrictions on fracking? Or the oil industry’s push to lift the 1970s ban on exporting U.S. crude oil? Clinton avoided all those questions in the solar-heavy climate plan she outlined Sunday night, and in her speech promoting it Monday in Iowa — and she declined yet again Monday to say where she stands on Keystone.
That means that liberals longing for Clinton to erase what they see as the dirtiest spot on President Barack Obama’s environmental record — his support for an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy that includes domestic oil and gas drilling — have to keep waiting. Greens want to cheer for Clinton, but Democratic rivals Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley are already trying to outflank her with even more ambitious climate plans, while the GOP attacks her from the right.
“Clinton’s climate plan is remarkable for what it doesn’t say, yet,” California-based environmental activist R.L. Miller, who founded the Climate Hawks Vote PAC, said in a statement. Specifically, she added, Clinton offered “no effort to keep fossil fuels in the ground, no price on carbon; no word on Keystone XL, Arctic oil or other carbon bombs; no word on fracking.”
Climate activists are also looking for the Democratic front-runner to put some distance between herself and her record at the State Department, which issued a series of studies finding no significant environmental obstacles to approving Keystone.
“We’re expecting a reset” of the former secretary’s platform, Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said in an interview, “and a completely different climate and energy policy than the last time she ran for president.”
While Clinton’s pitch to boost renewables to a 33-percent share of the nation’s power supply is “a positive first step,” Brune added, “we’re looking for her to reconcile her climate and energy policies, which is something Obama has not yet been able to do effectively.”
I’ve said for a long time that I think our peak-oil situation is a lot worse than anyone will admit. I’ve suspected all along that Obama would do everything he had to do to get enough oil, and I expect Clinton will do the same. Do we have the kind of country where you can be 100% honest with the voters? I’m not so sure. But I do think the emphasis on solar will allow a massive shift. We just don’t know if it will be enough.