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Hillary Clinton's financial donations from pro-fracking groups is making voters doubtful of her newly added 'anti-fracking' talking points

Hillary Clinton

(NaturalNews) Hillary Clinton's ties to the fracking industry made news again on March 31, when Clinton berated a Greenpeace activist for asking if she would pledge to "reject future fossil fuel money in your campaign."

"I do not have — I have money from people who work for fossil fuel companies," Clinton said. Clinton then accused rival candidate Bernie Sanders' campaign of "lying" by saying she has financial ties to the industry.

But the truth is clear: Clinton's campaign has received more than $4.5 million from major donors connected with the fossil fuel industry. These deep financial ties, plus her historic support of fracking, are making voters highly skeptical of her recent promises to rein in that destructive industry.

Poisoning water and causing earthquakes

Hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," is a shale gas and oil mining technique that consists of injecting water, sand and a blend of chemicals deep into the earth. The pressure fractures the bedrock, allowing oil and gas drilling.

Once the bedrock has fractured, the injected water flows back to the surface, bringing along the toxic chemicals used in fracking, plus heavy metals, radioactive isotopes and volatile organics from the bedrock. This wastewater is typically injected into "wastewater wells" for indefinite storage.

Local residents have raised concerns about the effects of this wastewater on their health. In addition, the wells have been shown to increase pressure on seismic faults, and are now causing earthquakes in states that were formerly seismically stable.

At a recent debate in Flint, Michigan, Clinton staked out her most anti-fracking position to date, saying she does not support the practice in any locality that opposes it, if there is "release of methane or contamination of water," and if companies refuse to say what chemicals they are using.

Both opponents and defenders of fracking greeted these remarks with skepticism. And it's no surprise: Clinton has long been one of the world's most aggressive promoters of fracking.

Follow the money

As secretary of state, Clinton worked to spread fracking to new countries in order to reduce the geopolitical influence of Russia's gas reserves. In 2010, she dismissed concerns over fracking in a speech to a gathering of ministers in Washington, DC.

"I know that in some places [it] is controversial," she said, "but natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel available for power generation today."

Even the pro-Clinton Super PAC Correct the Record admits that she has a history as a strong fracking supporter.

On top of that, the top fundraising "bundlers" for Clinton's campaign are all fossil fuel lobbyists. An analysis by Greenpeace found that the Clinton campaign has received $1.33 million in contributions through just 11 fossil fuel lobbyist bundlers. This does not include donations from non-lobbyist industry employees, executives, board members or investors.

In addition, the pro-Clinton Super PAC Priorities Action USA has received $3.25 million in donations from large donors connected to the industry. This does not count contributions to other PACS or Super PACs, or contributions by trade associations.

Fracking- and gas-connected lobbyists who have contributed to the campaign include Martin Frost (Domestic Energy Producers Alliance), Martin Durbin (American Natural Gas Association) and Elizabeth Gore (WPX Energy). The campaign has received donations from lobbyists working for fracking companies including Exxon, Freeport LNG, LNG Allies, Dominion Resources, Oregon LNG and Cheniere Energy.

Is it any wonder that fracking proponent Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute at Southern Methodist University, dismissed Clinton's newfound position as "essentially campaign hyperbole, and meant to appease her environmental constituency."

"In reality, it has little substance to it," he said.

Fracking opponents agreed. Yong Jung Cho of 350 Action said Clinton would "struggle to convince" environmentalists that her opposition to fracking is "serious" without supporting an outright ban.

Sanders does not support fracking. All the major Republican candidates have openly said they do, extolling the economic benefits of the industry.

Sources for this article include:








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