Hillary Clinton Responds to Greenpeace’s Request to Reject Fossil Fuel Money

The presidential candidate still takes more than $1 million in contributions from the fossil industry.

by Cassady Craighill

February 11, 2016

While Secretary Clinton made strong commitments to reverse the impacts of Citizens United and restore full protections of the Voting Rights Act, she still takes more than $1 million in contributions from the fossil industry.

Secretary Hillary Clinton

Photo by Brett Weinstein / Flickr. Creative Commons.

Brett Weinstein

You may have noticed that campaign finance is quickly rising as one of the defining issues of the 2016 presidential campaign. Candidates without super PACs are winning state primaries, Senator Ted Cruz claims he admits big money in politics is corrupt, and Hillary Clinton said in a speech after the New Hampshire primary that we would “not going to find anybody more committed to aggressive campaign finance reform than me.”

Since it impacts so many issues — from climate change to gun control to voting rights — the issue of campaign finance and corporate influence over our political system is a hugely unifying issue for Americans. That’s why, last month, Greenpeace, along with more than 20 of our partners, launched a pledge asking all candidates to commit to fixing democracy by rejecting campaign contributions from fossil fuel companies and protecting voting rights.

Much to our delight, Secretary Hillary Clinton responded this week to our pledge request.

In Secretary Clinton’s response, her campaign pledged to initiate a reversal of Citizens United, the Supreme Court case that unleashed rampant spending on political campaigns, and to restore gutted sections of the Voting Rights Act that had left people with more obstacles to the polls than in 1965.

While Hillary Clinton’s inspiring commitment to begin fixing democracy is undoubtedly commendable, her response to Greenpeace is still missing one very important detail.

Fossil fuel money.

According to data compiled by Greenpeace’s research team, 11 registered lobbyists from the oil and gas industry bundled  more than $1 million for Hillary Clinton. This does not include contributions to the Clinton campaign made by 53 other oil and gas lobbyists or nearly $160,000 in direct donations received from oil and gas employees. Clinton recently referenced that number in a video from 350 Action, claiming that $150,000 is “not a lot” to receive in donations.

It is clear that Secretary Clinton cares about this issue of campaign finance and climate change.

What we’re missing from Clinton is the proof behind her words.

Clinton recently responded to an audience question about whether she would stop taking money from fossil fuel lobbyists, she responded that she would “stop fossil fuels which is much better.”

Stopping fossil fuels sounds sounds great! But seems like that would be pretty hard to do if you’re still receiving mountains of campaign contributions, right?

Clinton can start making the real change in our democracy starting with her very own campaign.

So far, after outreach to all the presidential campaigns,  Bernie Sanders is still the only Democratic candidate to sign the pledge and no Republican candidates have signed it.

We’re not giving up. Greenpeace is not a political organization, so we do not endorse candidates. However, we do push every candidate to strengthen their platforms on the issues our supporters, members and allies care about most.

Tell all the presidential candidates to start fixing democracy by protecting voter rights and reject fossil fuel contributions.

Cassady Craighill

By Cassady Craighill

Cassady is a media officer for Greenpeace USA based on the East Coast. She covers climate change and energy, particularly how both issues relate to the Trump administration.

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