Hillary Clinton Avoids Request to Reject Fossil Fuel Contributions

by Cassady Craighill

Secretary Hillary Clinton

Photo by Brett Weinstein / Flickr. Creative Commons.

Brett Weinstein

Washington, DC February 11, 2015- This week, Secretary Hillary Clinton responded to Greenpeace’s request that she reject fossil fuel donations and protect voting rights. Secretary Clinton issued a statement committing to initiating a process to reverse the effect of the Citizens United decision and restore the full protections of the Voting Rights Act. The statement did not include a commitment to reject fossil fuel money.

“While Secretary Clinton’s commitment to reversing Citizens United and restoring the Voting Rights Act is admirable, she doesn’t have to wait that long to have an impact on our country’s money in politics crisis. She can start right now by rejecting fossil fuel money,” said Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard. “That bold move would prove to everyone that Clinton not only knows that our democracy is broken, but that it is fixable.”

In Clinton’s statement to Greenpeace, she says, “The fossil fuel companies know my agenda is to stop their agenda. I will take them on and win—and make sure America leads the fight against climate change.”

Last month, Greenpeace and more than 20 partners launched a pledge asking all candidates to commit to fixing democracy by rejecting campaign contributions from fossil fuel companies and protecting voting rights. After outreach to all the presidential campaigns,  Bernie Sanders is still the only Democratic candidate to sign the pledge. No Republican candidates have signed it.

According to data compiled by Greenpeace’s research department, 11 registered lobbyists from the oil and gas industry bundled more than $1 million so far for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election cycle. This does not include direct contributions to the Clinton campaign made by 53 other oil and gas lobbyists, or the $226,804 in direct donations her campaign received from oil and gas employees.

Following the New Hampshire primaries, the candidates head to the Nevada caucus next week.

The full response from Secretary Clinton to Greenpeace reads as follows:

“I believe it’s time to reclaim our democracy, reform our distorted campaign finance system, and restore access to the ballot box in all 50 states.

That starts with reversing Citizens United. As president, I’ll appoint Supreme Court justices who recognize that Citizens United is bad for America. If necessary, I’ll fight for a constitutional amendment that overturns it. But I won’t stop there—I’ll also fight to increase transparency in our politics by requiring federal contractors to fully disclose their political spending and calling on the Securities and Exchange Commission to require that publicly traded companies do the same.

And I’ll get rid of the special tax breaks that are going to oil and gas companies and use that money to invest in making America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century. There’s a reason that the Koch brothers have pledged to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in this election—because they want a Republican who will dance to their tune.  The fossil fuel companies know my agenda is to stop their agenda. I will take them on and win—and make sure America leads the fight against climate change.

And I believe nothing is more vital to our democracy than protecting our right to vote. We should be making it easier to vote, not harder. I’ll fight to restore the full protections of the Voting Rights Act. I believe all Americans should be automatically registered to vote on their 18th birthdays, unless they opt out. Every state should have at least 20 days of early in-person voting. And no one should ever have to wait more than 30 minutes to cast a ballot.

Citizens United and its aftermath have twisted and perverted our democratic system. Now the deck is stacked even more in favor of those at the top. But as Al Smith, another Democrat from New York, once said, “All the ills of democracy can be cured by more democracy.” So that’s what we need now: more transparency, more accountability, and above all, more citizens exercising their right to vote.”

Contact:

Cassady Sharp, csharp@greenpeace.org, 828-817-3328

Perry Wheeler, perry.wheeler@greenpeace.org, 301-675-8766

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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