Sanders ad touts fracking ban, hits Clinton on donations by Jennifer Yachnin, April 12, 2016, E & E News
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders yesterday unveiled a new television spot that touts his support for a nationwide ban on hydraulic fracturing.
The ad also takes aim once again at campaign contributions former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has raised from donors with ties to the fossil fuel industry.
Actress Susan Sarandon narrates the new 30-second spot that will target New York voters ahead of the state’s April 19 presidential primary contest.
“Do Washington politicians side with polluters over families? They sure do because Big Oil pumps millions into their campaigns,” Sarandon says in the ad.
An undated statistic claiming that oil-and-gas-industry-related donations to federal campaigns total more than $23 million appears on screen.
Sarandon continues: “Bernie Sanders is the only candidate for president who opposes fracking everywhere. Why? Because fracking pumps dangerous cancer-causing chemicals into the ground and threatens our drinking water. Bernie: He can’t be bought by them because he’s funded by you.”
Contributions from oil-and-gas-related donors have been a key point of contention in the Democratic presidential primary, and Clinton claimed headlines earlier this month after losing her temper when a Greenpeace activist asked her to reject donations from the fossil fuel industry (Greenwire, April 1).
Clinton has accepted more than $300,000 in donations from employees of the fossil fuel industry but has dismissed criticisms from Greenpeace about an additional $1.3 million in donations made or bundled by 58 lobbyists with alleged fossil fuel ties, noting that she has not raised any from oil and gas political action committees.
Sanders — who has raised $50,000 from employees of the fossil fuel industry — has argued that while individual contributions are permissible, candidates should reject donations tied to industry lobbyists.
During a campaign event in Binghamton, N.Y., Sanders also sought to differentiate his opposition to hydraulic fracturing from Clinton’s call for stronger oversight. [Industry and regulators the world over have proven it’s impossible to regulate fracing to make it safe or controllable.]
“If we are serious about combating climate change, we need to put an end to fracking not only in New York and Vermont but all over this country,” Sanders said at the event.
He also noted he has “very strong differences of opinion” with Clinton on the process. Clinton has vowed to heavily curb hydraulic fracturing if elected but has said the federal government would be unable to bar the practice outright.
“So by the time we get through all of my conditions, I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place. And I think that’s the best approach, because right now, there are places where fracking is going on that are not sufficiently regulated,” Clinton said during a March debate (E&E Daily, March 7). [Emphasis added]
Sanders calls for nationwide fracking ban by Jerry Zremski, April 11, 2016, The Buffalo News
Bernie Sanders wants a nationwide ban on fracking, aiming to draw a contrast with his opponent for the Democratic presidential nomination, Hillary Clinton, who would allow the controversial oil and gas drilling method in limited circumstances.
“The growing body of evidence tells us that fracking is a danger to our water supply, our most precious resource. It is a danger to the air we breathe. It has resulted in more earthquakes. It is highly explosive. And it is contributing to climate change,” Sanders told 5,000 people at a campaign event in Binghamton
Sanders made his call for a fracking ban in the Southern Tier, where ample supplies of natural gas are available in the Marcellus Shale, but for the fact that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo banned fracking in the state in December 2014. Sanders’ home state of Vermont also has banned the practice.
Concern about water contamination prompted Cuomo to ban hyraulic fracturing, or fracking, in which huge volumes of water are pumped a mile or more into the earth to free the gas that’s trapped there. The practice creates huge volumes of waste water, and some people who live near fracked wells claim that fracking has contaminated their well water.
“I want to applaud you for standing up to Gov. Cuomo and demanding that New York State ban fracking,” Sanders told the audience in Binghamton. But he added: “If we are serious, we need to put an end to fracking not only in New York and Vermont but all over this country.”
Clinton, who supports the New York fracking ban, had backed expanded fracking overseas in some circumstances when she was secretary of state.
She offered a much more nuanced view of the practice at a debate in Flint, Mich., last month.
“I don’t support it when any locality or any state is against it, number one,” she said. “I don’t support it when the release of methane or contamination of water is present. I don’t support it – number three – unless we can require that anybody who fracks has to tell us exactly what chemicals they are using. [Via Fraudulent Fracfocus?]
“So by the time we get through all of my conditions, I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place,” Clinton added.
The fracking issue has split residents of the Southern Tier, but Democrats – especially in college communities and the liberal enclave of Cayuga County – have tended to oppose fracking. [Emphasis added]
Bernie Sanders Calls For Total Ban On Fracking In New Ad, Will “No fracking anywhere” message help differentiate him from Hillary Clinton in the New York primary? by Kate Sheppard, April 11, 2016, Huffingtonpost.com
In an ad and speech Monday, Sanders calls for an outright ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a process used to extract natural gas reserves from shale formations. … And there is a lot of natural gas contained in the Marcellus formation, which stretches up into New York state. But the issue has been hotly contested in New York. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a ban on the process in December 2014 due to concerns about health and safety. The ban was finalized in June 2015.
Many communities have raised concerns that fracking could contaminate groundwater sources, which is what prompted the New York state ban. …
“Bernie Sanders is the only candidate for president who opposes fracking everywhere,” says the 30-second advertisement, narrated by actress Susan Sarandon. …
The Sanders campaign clearly sees fracking as an issue it can use to distance his policy proposals from Clinton. While Sanders has said he would ban the practice, Clinton…still believes that there are ways to “ensure safe and responsible natural gas production.”
… In the past, Clinton has been more supportive of natural gas as a “bridge” fuel as the country moves to renewable energy….
Sanders and Clinton have been sparring over oil and gas in recent weeks. A climate activist confronted her over campaign donations from the fossil fuel industry, which prompted the former secretary of state to say that she is “so sick of the Sanders campaign lying about me.”
Sanders has said that Clinton “gets a lot of money” from the fossil fuel industry, among other industries. And his campaign put out a statement saying that Clinton“has relied heavily on funds from lobbyists working for the oil, gas and coal industry.”
Clinton’s campaign has countered that she has “not taken a dollar from oil and gas industry PACs or corporations.” She does, however, take individual contributions from people who work in the industry. The Huffington Post covered those contributions last year, noting that many of her major bundlers also lobby for the fossil fuel industry.
… The new Sanders ad indicates that his campaign sees oil and gas — and fracking specifically — as a key issue for next week’s New York contest. [Emphasis added]