“The Arctic is a unique treasure. Given what we know, it’s not worth the risk of drilling. -H”
Clinton’s statement comes in the wake of approval being given to Shell to begin exploratory off-shore drilling off the coast of Alaska.
Clinton has previously stated some concerns about drilling in the Arctic. In an interview in July, Clinton expressed skepticism about the idea:
“I have doubts about whether we should continue drilling in the Arctic. And I don’t think it is a necessary part of our overall clean energy climate change agenda. I will be talking about drilling in general but I am skeptical about whether we should give the go ahead to drill in the Arctic.”
By taking this public stance, Clinton joins Democratic candidates Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley in opposing energy practices that are harmful and destructive to the environment, as well as to the wellbeing and security of American citizens.
While Clinton used Twitter to express her opposition to Arctic drilling, Republican candidate Donald Trump wrote on Twitter in 2012: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” In addition, Trump recently tweeted that that if elected, he would “immediately approve the Keystone XL pipeline,” an issue that environmentalists have strongly opposed. Other Republican candidates, such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, share Trump’s outdated view that man-made climate change is an illusion.
Clinton has recently released an energy plan that emphasizes the role of solar power. She rejects Republican candidate Jeb Bush’s statement on climate change, “I’m a skeptic. I’m not a scientist,” claiming “You don’t have to be a scientist to take on this urgent challenge that threatens us all. You just have to be willing to act.”
Environmentalists have applauded Hillary for her stance against off-shore drilling. Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard said: “Hillary Clinton got it right on the Arctic. The next President will be responsible for saving the Arctic, so it’s vital we hear where all the candidates stand.”
This move once again makes obvious that the Democratic party is the only one who takes seriously the increasingly urgent warnings of the scientific community regarding climate change. As Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said in an interview: “If someone were looking for a clear and unambiguous dividing line between Democrats and Republicans on energy, the environment and climate, this Arctic dispute is a perfect one.”
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.