Clinton Defends Fracking, Tells Environmentalists Get a Life

Clinton Defends Fracking, Tells Environmentalists Get a Life

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20150909 Transcript | Building Trades Union (Keystone XL)

To:,,,,, more
Date: 2015-09-09 21:09
Subject: 20150909 Transcript | Building Trades Union (Keystone XL)

Hi all,

So this is a partial txpt of HRC's answer this morning on KXL at the
Building Trades Union meeting. She seems to transition to climate
change more generally - and we're working on transcribing that now -
but just wanted to send the most relevant section now since we don't
know when this will leak.



QUESTIONER 1: [inaudible]... but it is encouraging when you talk about new pipelines as well. Because when we hear from [inaudible], not from you, but when we hear it general [inaudible]... environmental extremists are the democrats' version of the tea party from our perspective. And so while we fix leaky ones, we want to build new ones. I know Phil, myself, Jim, Craig, Tim, Harris, and the teemsters -- right now we have $30 billion in new natural gas mostly [inaudible]. Pipelines being built, as Shawn said, puts a lot of people to work.

HILLARY CLINTON: And where in the country are you [inaudible]?

QUESTIONER 1: So Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, the Dakotas--

QUESTIONER 2: There's an oil pipeline too in the Dakotas...

QUESTIONER 1: New England. 

QUESTIONER 2: The pipeline industry is booming and we've raised a lot of issues on existing pipelines and how bad they are. You know, people are concerned about the Keystone pipeline, which would be the safest pipeline ever constructed by the most skilled labor force ever assembled to build it. And you have to [inaudible] about these pipelines that are in the ground 20, 30 years, 40 years--

HILLARY CLINTON: 100 years--

QUESTIONER 2: Right, 100 years. And they need -- like the city government in Chicago where I live -- they're changing out all the gas lines in Chicago and there are gas lines that have been in the city of Chicago since Abraham Lincoln was president. 

HILLARY CLINTON: Is that part of the 30 billion that [inaudible] is talking about?

QUESTIONER 2: No, no. 

QUESTIONER 1: It's actually now, Madam Secretary, the second largest sector to mining, building is third. So the energy sector -- and yes that does include solar and wind [inaudible] and we like 'all of the above' -- and from listening to you we need someone like you to have a grown up conversation with all stakeholders because people have dug in on all sides.

HILLARY CLINTON: I know, I know.

QUESTIONER 1: And now the Sierra Club won't support any natural gas. And to be honest, not you, but the Democrats were so disillusioned with Congress on both sides, they expected that -- one we sure as hell didn't expect that we were getting [inaudible] out of the Democrats in the energy sector. But it's encouraging--

HILLARY CLINTON: Well they've come out, and you may not know this, but they've all [inaudible]. I mean I have not said anything about Keystone because I wanted to give the President, the Secretary a chance to make their decision. But I can't wait any longer. And you know from my perspective, this is just one of these issues--

QUESTIONER 2: It's symbolic--

HILLARY CLINTON: It's symbolic and it's not going to go away. They're all hanging on to it. So you know Bernie Sanders is getting lots of support from the most radical environmentalists because he's out there every day bashing the Keystone pipeline. And, you know, I'm not into it for that. I've been-- my view is I want to defend natural gas. I want to defend repairing and building the pipelines we need to fuel our economy. I want to defend fracking under the right circumstances. I want to defend, you know, new, modern [inaudible]. I want to defend this stuff. And you know, I'm already at odds with the most organized and wildest. They come to my rallies and they yell at me and, you know, all the rest of it. They say, 'Will you promise never to take any fossil fuels out of the earth ever again?' No. I won't promise that. Get a life, you know. So I want to get the right balance and that's what I'm [inaudible] about-- getting all the stakeholders together. Everybody's not going to get everything they want, that's not the way it's supposed to work in a democracy, but everybody needs to listen to each other.

And we need to do -- you know, nuclear, talk about climate change -- nuclear is no greenhouse gas emissions. France has it for nearly 100% of their energy -- they've never had a problem. We've had two problems that people know about: Chernobyl, which was a disaster and [inaudible], and you know Three Mile. Right, those were the problems we had. We've come a long way from there.

So I'm willing to defend and to really burrow in, I will say, you know, I don't support the Keystone pipeline because I don't think we need to do that. I think we need to repair, rebuild, take care of what we've got on the platter here. But I also think that the federal government has to be the partner. You can't do this. I mean whether it's a Fed discount window or a new fund, because it's not just pipelines. It's exploding sewer lines. It's broken water lines. It's all of the construction that is under our old cities. It's all falling apart. And so I want a major investment in fixing up what makes our cities work. Now, I don't want to leave the rural and suburban areas out, but the oldest -- going back to Abraham Lincoln -- but the oldest stuff in the ground is in our cities. 

QUESTIONER 3: I was going to speak similar to what President [inaudible] had talked about, but in the fact that-- so you're going to campaign Keystone pipeline or [inaudible] on your position?

HILLARY CLINTON: I'm not going to campaign--

QUESTIONER 3: I'd rather you nip it and say I'm more interested in fixing existing structures--

HILLARY CLINTON: No I will, I have to--

QUESTIONER 3: Because we've been conditioning our members. That's kind of like being blinded [inaudible]... So if you come out against it they're going to go [inaudible]... You can just say, 'I am in favor of repairing the existing infrastructure and expanding to make it safer for Americans, and I'm not going to take a lightning rod issue that's going to be legally challenged,' as a better way of saying 'I'm against it.' It's a deft way of navigating [inaudible]... Unless I get [inaudible]

HILLARY CLINTON: At some point, I mean, look, I'm being hammered because I won't take a position. And I thought I was doing the right thing by not taking a position. I'll try to figure out the right wording. I get what you're saying. And, look, I want to be a champion for your members. Obviously I would love to have your endorsements. But, in any event, to be a champion for your members.

QUESTIONER 3: We've been advocating for this for 6 years so it'll be a major reversal for a lot of us. 

HILLARY CLINTON: Yea I know, I know. I get it. I get it. So look, you've got your own business to deal with. Whether you endorse me or not, I'm going to be your advocate and your partner. And I'm going to do what I tell you I will do. But I also don't want to mislead people and let them think that I'm going to support something when I can't. Because I don't think it's productive to support it, given all the other stuff.

You know, I'm having conversations in these town halls and these meetings I'm having with a lot of people who break into my meetings, they hold up posters, they scream at me, and all the rest of that: 'Stop extracting fossil fuels, stop extracting on public lands, come out against nuclear, coal' you name it. They are after everything and I'm just talking through them. And of course they go support somebody else. That's fine and I don't particularly care. But I do think I have to say, look, given everything else we have to do in this country, this is not an issue for me that I'm going to say I support. I want to work on other stuff. 

QUESTIONER 3: I want to ask you a hard question on the same thing. If you become the president and we turn the next Congress around and we get it passed, would you veto it?

HILLARY CLINTON: You know, I don't know the answer to that. I don't want to mislead you. I don't know the answer to that and I'll tell you why, because I don't think that Congress has the authority to pass it. The law is pretty clear that this is an executive decision because it crosses the Canadian border. Remember that Congress tried to do something on it before and the general opinion was it doesn't mean anything because they have no authority to do it. But that's my memory of--
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