Hillary Clinton on Energy
Hillary is a savvy political veteran, and as the Democrat front runner you would expect to see her policies clearly laid out, however, as a savvy political veteran she knows the dangers of doing that and has kept it very light. However, we have been able to pick up some nuggets that give us an idea on where she stands.
On Keystone Pipeline, she has finally staked out the position that it is a really bad deal, because it would bring oil to the United States and that is a bad thing. I am sure this is a calculated strategy hoping that no one will call her out on a lack of a substance and she may be right with today’s media. Of course when she was Secretary of State when she was “inclined” to sign-off on the pipeline, which would carry oil from Alberta to US Gulf Coast refineries. Right now that is accomplished using trains, so some how that is a better deal.
She has also vowed to keep Obama’s EPA emissions cuts in place and that means a continued war on the coal industry if elected. In addition with the new Clean Air Act, she would be able to impose sweeping regulations on a multiple industries that the EPA deems as unclean.
In December 2014, Hillary Clinton said, “The science of climate change is unforgiving, no matter what the deniers may say, sea levels are rising, ice caps are melting, storms, droughts and wildfires are wreaking havoc” at the dinner of the League of Conservation Voters in New York. “The political challenges are also unforgiving, there is no getting around the fact the kind of ambitious response required to effectively combat climate change is going to be a tough sell at home.”
At Sen. Harry Reid’s National Clean Energy Summit, Clinton called climate change “the most consequential, urgent, sweeping collection of challenges we face as a nation and a world.” (Making us wonder if she thinks terrorism stems from climate change, or just a lack of jobs)
She gave a nod to natural gas production as well, but then seemed to retract that with statements about restrictions and more oversight. “It’s crucial that we put in place smart regulations and enforce them, including deciding not to drill when the risks are too high,” she said. “That includes regulations to capture and contain methane leaks.”
In 2008 she said she supported cap and trade as a way to reduce carbon emissions but she isn’t expressing this as part of her current strategy.
She also has made statements that renewable energy needs continued or increasing support from government while traditional hydrocarbon energy needs less. “Tax incentives for alternative energy investments are unpredictable at best, while generous subsidies for fossil fuels are still too easy to come by.”
She also tells a story about “The president and I literally had to crash a secret meeting,” between China’s delegation and other world leaders in order to reach a compromise at the 2009 United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen. One has to wonder if this story isn’t more of the “we landed under sniper fire” hype we have seen from her in the past. We certainly have not seen much progress with China on reducing emissions from coal-fired generation.
She has also threatened to increase the CAFÉ standards to 35 MPG within 10 years of taking office, using her executive powers if Congress doesn’t act.
She has also voted against any drilling in the Atlantic and any additional drilling up in the Alaska Artic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) when she was a Senator.
So while the statements of support for natural gas and the potential for natural gas exports are encouraging. The other stances as they relate to climate and regulation should concern us all. If elected we are liable to see some very similar policies to the current administration and possibly more regulations on carbon that could seriously inhibit our ability to produce enough energy to sustain growth.
There are also some hurtles that she will need to make as it relates to the Clinton Foundation’s use of oil dollars from the Middle East and the potential conflict those will present if she doesn’t pursue a heavy handed policy toward energy.
We will be looking for more clarity from Clinton as the campaign continues.