In a blog post and accompanying fact sheet published today (24 September), Clinton outlined the key areas that need to be ‘modernised’ by handing out funding to green initiatives; forging a climate pact with Mexico and Canada and making existing infrastructure cleaner and safer, notably outdated oil pipelines.

The presidential candidate also pledged to get federal government on board with streamlining legal processes to allow quicker applications and grants for green innovations. These innovations would aim to decrease transport emissions, store carbon and offer financing tools for grid investment, Clinton said.

“American energy policy is about more than a single pipeline to transport Canada’s dirtiest fuel across our country,” the blog post states. “It’s about building our future — a future where the United States will once again lead the world by constructing state-of-the-art infrastructure, creating new jobs and new markets, accelerating the transition to a clean energy economy, and improving the health, safety, and security of all Americans.”

Coal community

Clinton also called for a pact throughout North America, focusing on cleaner markets and infrastructure benchmarks to build on the momentum created by the Clean Power Plan. The Plan will implement the first carbon pollution standards for existing power plants and aim to cut carbon emissions by 32% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.

Clinton did pledge to support the coal community, specifically the workers, as the country moves towards more renewable energy sources. Also on the list was the desire to tackle cyber hacking in order to protect grid security and enhance the electric power industry.

In the pipeline…

Clinton also used the blog to reiterate her opposition of the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline, which could unlock vast reserves of the Alberta tar sands, and set the world on a course of dangerous carbon emissions.

She wrote: “More than eight million acres have burned in the United States so far this wildfire season. California is in the fourth year of a historic drought scientists say has been made worse by climate change. More severe storms and extreme heat waves have wreaked havoc around the world.

“We shouldn’t be building a pipeline dedicated to moving North America’s dirtiest fuel through our communities — we should be focused on what it will take to make America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century.”

Red or blue?

Clinton’s opposition to Keystone XL provides further proof of the Democratic candidate’s commitment to combat climate change. In July this year, she unveiled proposals to install more than 500 million solar panels by the end of her first term, if elected US President.

On the red side of the electoral debate, influential US energy politician Marsha Blackman – the second-highest ranking member on the House energy committee – has reportedly said this week that she would ignore the Pope’s pleas to tackle climate change, claiming that the earth had in fact cooled in the last 13 years.

According to the BBC, Blackman said: “There are some that feel like human activity is the cause for carbon emissions and because of that we need to revert to where we were in the 1870s for carbon emissions. I just choose to disagree with that.” She was speaking as part of a forthcoming Radio 4 documentary series.

Matt Mace

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