Now, Greenpeace has taken to the skies of Las Vegas in an airship asking Secretary Clinton to "Say No to Fossil Fuel $$$." The move comes after research compiled by Greenpeace revealed that her campaign has received direct contributions from 53 oil and gas industry lobbyists. And this illustrious group included 3 Enbridge lobbyists. (While she was Secretary of State, Clinton signed off on the Enbridge pipeline—an alternative to Keystone XL.)
Of course, the Clinton campaign has rightly pointed out that evidence of donations is not evidence of wrongdoing or favors. Yet Greenpeace also points out that Clinton previously slammed Barack Obama for accepting oil company donations, and linked thee donations to Senator Obama's support of a Bush-Cheney energy bill that, the campaign said, "put $6 billion in the pocket of big oil.”Typically, TreeHugger tends to steer clear of partisan politics and muckraking. Indeed, it's been encouraging to see both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders elevate climate change and clean energy to a level we have not seen before on the campaign trail. And in the interests of transparency, I'll go ahead and declare my biases: I would love to see President Clinton make good on her impressive renewable energy and climate change commitments.
Yet Greenpeace's message is an important one. Our country has signed on to the Paris Climate Agreement, and Secretary Clinton has given her vocal support to this landmark effort.
If our leaders are serious about commitments to ambitious decarbonization, we have to start asking why fossil fuel lobbyists are continuing to grease the wheels of our democracy.
What are they getting for their money?
And yes, I do know that airships require fossil fuels to operate in the same way that kayaktivists couldn't kayak without petroleum products. I've said it before: environmental hypocrisy is inevitable and irrelevant—we need to focus on our leverage, not our footprints.