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How Green is Hillary Clinton?

Welcome to Exact Solar’s ‘How Green is the 2016 Presidential Election?’ series! Check out the Introduction Post  for more information and be sure to check back tomorrow for another candidate! Today’s question: How Green is Hillary Clinton?

The Nation, a weekly political magazine, and 350 Action have teamed up and asked major political candidates in the Democratic, Republican and Green parties to “neither solicit nor accept campaign contributions from any oil, gas or coal company.

We know that it’s early in the 2016 presidential race, but this election has the potential to truly revolutionize energy in America. We at Exact Solar feel that politics are at the heart of the green movement. So we are going to do all of the dirty work and research for you to provide you with the breakdown of the greenest and not-so-eco-friendly candidates so far.

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton made it onto our list of Green Politicians, but has been criticized for not yet laying out a specific climate change policy.

In June, she addressed a crowd of 5,000 in New York City and stressed that she supported the future of clean energy in America. “We will make America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century,” she said. “Developing renewable power—wind, solar, advanced biofuels, building cleaner power plants, smarter electric grids, greener buildings, using additional fees and royalties from fossil fuel extraction to protect the environment and ease the transition for distressed communities to a more diverse and sustainable economic future—from coal country to Indian country, from small towns in the Mississippi Delta to the Rio Grande Valley to our inner cities, we have to help our fellow Americans. Now this will create millions of jobs and countless new businesses, and enable America to lead the global fight against climate change.”

But after making that bold statement on clean energy, wouldn’t you expect Clinton to take the pledge? Well, she hasn’t responded to the letter yet, and some more digging reveals her somewhat secret admiration for unclean energy.

While Clinton seems to support a movement toward clean energy, it seems unlikely that she will turn her back on non-renewables either. Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said that Clinton defended coal in a private meeting with House and Senate Democrats. “She said people need to realize what coal has done for this country. People don’t realize that; they just want to condemn it now, and she was very compassionate about that.” But when it comes to climate change and the fate of our planet and humanity as a whole, shouldn’t we be looking far beyond how coal helped the United States’ economy in the past?

While Clinton is certainly not denying the urgency of climate change, voters with the environment at the top of their political priority list are far from satisfied with her flexible approach to the issue that she calls “one of the defining threats of our time.”

Written by Sarah Bergen. Sarah is a writer and editor from New Jersey. She enjoys writing about environmental issues, sustainability, and health. She can be reached at [email protected].

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