This might be news to the “keep it in the ground” folks, but you aren’t on the Clinton campaign radar, according to recently released Podesta emails.
Just prior to Super Tuesday, Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders released an ad in Colorado last saying he is “the only candidate to oppose fracking,” which prompted this response from Clinton’s Colorado “state lead” Bradley Komar,”The only candidate to oppose fracking…What does that mean? A complete 100% fracking ban. There is no elected dem and I believe no enviro group that takes this position. In fact, such an extreme position threatens the progress of common-sense safety measures like frack fluid disclosure and methane capture/air quality regulations.”
The Clinton campaign then crafted a position statement:
Bernie’s call for banning all hydraulic fracturing is, extreme, unfeasible and ignores the contribution natural gas has made to our economy and our efforts to reduce carbon pollution. What we need to focus on is putting in place common sense safeguards to protect our air and water, like mandatory disclosure of fracking chemicals, closing the Halliburton loophole, regulations to reduce methane emissions from both new and existing sources. Hillary has called for all of these things to make sure that those communities that choose to pursue natural gas development do so safely and responsibly. And she will stand by those communities that decide they don’t want natural gas production to occur.
Then Komar goes on to warn everyone about how to thread the needle on fracking in order to appeal to Democrat caucus attendees.
I would prefer an ally (congressman polis and/or LCV) Who have strong bone fides on the environment to whack sander’s for taking an irresponsible position and in doing so, threatening real progress on frack fluid disclosure and air quality regulations. This is yet another promise he can’t keep. I think we will be forced to weigh in by sanders and of course we have to state our position: it’s a transitional energy–and we need to go green. But that is a very soft response that sounds better if Bernie is being hit by the left. I would watch our tone and not sound too pro-fracking. A reluctant tone is a better fit for dem caucus goers (it’s a transition energy. It’s not great but it allows us to get to where we want to be) (emphasis mine).
In a follow up email, Komar says he thinks he can “get Polis” who doesn’t like being labeled as “anti-fracking” and that he also would “quietly check with Conservation Colorado (the state LCV) and see if they have an appetite for pushing back on Sanders.”
For another option, he suggests that he can get the Denver Post editorial board to do the Clinton campaign’s dirty work, “I think the Denver Post Ed Board could smack Sanders if we want them to but that makes it a bigger fight.”
Clinton’s energy policy advisor Trevor Houser provides final advice after the campaign gets rejected by Conservation Colorado. “LCV isn’t willing to hit Bernie on this. Sounds like Polis is the best bet if press stats [sic] asking, otherwise better to duck and cover.”
Maybe a recent letter from a number of anti-fracking groups will raise the anti-frackers profile within the Clinton campaign. Several groups including Colorado Rising, 350 Colorado, Frack Free Colorado, Greenpeace USA, 350.org, WildEarth Guardians and more have urged Clinton to remove Colorado Democrat Governor John Hickenlooper for consideration as the head of the Department of Interior. They cite his support for hydraulic fracturing as the reason.
Let’s have a reality check. If you are a group that wants to keep all hydrocarbons in the ground, why even both with Hillary Clinton? Her position is to “duck and cover.”