As the only presidential candidate who opposes fracking, Sen. Bernie Sanders released an evocative new campaign ad on Friday challenging Hillary Clinton’s views on combating climate change. Although Sanders refuses to accept money from corporations involved in fracking or other forms of environmental destruction, Clinton continues to receive contributions from major polluters.
In a new video titled “People Before Polluters,” Sanders’ campaign describes the presidential candidate as having “the courage to stand up to big oil because he won’t take their money. That’s why Sanders said no to the Keystone Pipeline and never waffled. He’s also the only candidate to oppose fracking because fracking can endanger our drinking water and threaten our climate.”
Depicting images of drinking water catching on fire and burning exhaust fumes, the campaign ad places a spotlight on the environmental dangers that corporations have inflicted on Americans in recent years. With fracking techniques causing methane to contaminate local water supplies, people have begun uploading videos of friends and family members igniting their drinking water with a lit match.
“Just as I believe you can’t take on Wall Street while taking their money, I don’t believe you can take on climate change effectively while taking money from those who would profit off the destruction of the planet,” Sanders asserted.
Although Clinton claims that money does not influence politics, she detoured from her campaign trail in Iowa to attend a high-dollar fundraiser at the hedge fund, Franklin Square Capital, which is a major investor in fracking. Two weeks after the fundraiser, Clinton’s campaign announced her continued support of natural gas production, which is a product of fracking.
“Right now, we have an energy policy that is rigged to boost the profits of big oil companies like Exxon, BP, and Shell at the expense of average Americans,” said Sanders. “CEO’s are raking in record profits while climate change ravages our planet and our people — all because the wealthiest industry in the history of our planet has bribed politicians into complacency in the face of climate change. Enough is enough. It’s time for a political revolution that takes on the fossil fuel billionaires, accelerates our transition to clean energy, and finally puts people before the profits of polluters.”
In support of laws that ban fracking and prohibit fossil fuel lobbyists from working in the White House, Sanders also proposed a plan to transition all fossil fuels workers into new clean energy jobs. He intends to pay for the plan by closing loopholes that allow corporations to hide money overseas and by ending subsidies to fossil fuel companies.
“The debate is over,” Sanders declared. “The vast majority of the scientific community has spoken. Climate change is real, it is caused by human activity, and it is already causing devastating harm here in the United States, and to people all around the globe. So what are we going to do about it? We will act boldly to move our energy system away from fossil fuels, toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy sources like wind, solar, and geothermal because we have a moral responsibility to leave our kids a planet that is healthy and habitable.”