CLINTON'S ENERGY/CLIMATE PLANS REVEALED IN WIKILEAKS EMAILS

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22 october 2016

Energy and Environment
Climate lessons from the Clinton campaign's hacked emails

The Democratic nominee has a strong pragmatic streak on energy policy but also welcomes a push from the left.


By Elana Schor, Politico, October 22, 2016

The WikiLeaks emails reveal a Hillary Clinton campaign team fixated on climate change — yet reluctant to make overly sweeping promises about what they’d do about it.

Campaign chairman John Podesta’s hacked inbox offers a veritable road map to the energy policy that Clinton would execute in the White House, as well as clear lessons to the environmental and industry groups that are getting ready to lobby her administration if she wins. And climate change and related issues feature prominently in the approximately 25,000 messages WikiLeaks has released so far from Podesta’s account.

“Climate change” comes up in more than 1,200 of the emails released as of Friday, or more than Obamacare and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant combined — and almost as many as the 1,444 emails that mention the name “Sanders.”

Clinton’s energy proposals have produced fewer easy sound bites than Bernie Sanders’ call to ban fracking or Donald Trump’s promises to put coal miners back to work. But the hacked emails, dating from before and after Podesta joined the campaign after serving as a senior adviser to the Obama White House, show Clinton’s team to be as driven by policy details and the power of pragmatic messaging as the candidate herself — while grappling with the contradictions inherent in a campaign year when grandiose promises are more popular than realistic proposals.

Taxing carbon polls horribly, her advisers fret, but politicians will need to get behind some climate plan to drastically reduce carbon output. Natural gas has spurred jobs and exports, but it produces methane pollution that cries out for regulation. The federal ethanol mandate is arguably failing to deliver its promised gains for national security and the planet, as one aide wrote last year, but calling for reform too loudly risks losing support in corn country.

And Clinton’s team think it’s deeply unrealistic to call for a quick end to oil drilling, as some green groups and Sanders supporters demand — but it’s also fanciful to think that the current U.S. oil boom should continue indefinitely.

Several threads in the emails also detail the choreography Clinton’s aides engaged in before she revealed her long-planned public opposition to the Keystone XL oil pipeline last year.

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