On Thursday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lashed out at Greenpeace organizer Eva Resnick-Day when questioned about her contributions from fossil fuel companies, saying, “I do not have — I have money from people who work for fossil fuel companies. I am so sick, I am so sick of the Sanders campaign lying about me. I’m sick of it.”
Resnick-Day was not questioning Clinton on behalf of the Sanders campaign but as an activist with Greenpeace, which has joined 350.org and Friends of the Earth in pushing candidates to agree not to take money from the fossil fuel industry.
But putting aside the misdirected anger at the Greenpeace activist, was Hillary Clinton telling the truth about her record vis-a-vis fossil fuel money? Is Senator Bernie Sanders or his campaign lying about Clinton’s connections to the fossil fuel industry?
No. In fact, Hillary Clinton has a long history of receiving support from the fossil fuel industry, and paying that support back. Beyond the over $300,000 Clinton has already received from oil and gas employees for her presidential campaign, she has a lobbyist for ExxonMobil as one of her campaign’s bundlers.
Just as troubling as the money and influence of the fossil fuel industry is the actions Clinton took as secretary of state. Then-Secretary Clinton lobbied countries around the world to use hydraulic fracturing or fracking as part of their energy development strategy. She also worked on deals to expand fossil fuel development in Mexico and negotiated the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which notably leaves out climate change concerns while empowering fossil fuel companies to bypass local regulations.
As a senator, Clinton’s record was also favorable to fossil fuel interests from whom she received over $860,000 in campaign contributions. Then-Senator Clinton cast numerous pro-fossil fuel industry votes – voting to expand drilling in the Gulf of Mexico as well as opposing efforts to restrict drilling off the coast of Florida.
So while it may be an inconvenient truth, it is more than fair to claim Hillary Clinton has ties to the fossil fuel industry and quite appropriate for activists concerned with climate change and the environment to ask her about them without being called liars.