As you may have seen, Hillary let her frustration get the best of her when confronted by a Greenpeace activist in New York on Thursday night. If you didn’t see, Clinton was confronted by Eva Resnick-Day. She asked Hillary, “Will you act on your word to reject fossil fuel money in the future in your campaign?”
Hillary then responded, “I do not have, I have money from people who work for fossil fuel companies, I am so sick of the Sanders campaign lying about me! I’m sick of it.” Talk about irony.
Greenpeace asks Clinton to reject Fossil Fuel money. This is a complex issue. Law forbids candidates from taking money from corporations. Nobody is trying to say that Clinton is taking money from the corporations. Hillary is taking money from private individuals who are somehow tied to the fossil fuel industry. The Sanders campaign has issued a statement criticizing her for taking money from lobbyists who are connected to the oil, gas and coal industry. A quote from the Sanders campaign: “In fact, 57 oil, gas and coal industry lobbyists have directly contributed to Clinton’s campaign, with 43 of them contributing the maximum allowed for the primary,”
The Greenpeace attack on Clinton is overlooking some things. Per Vox:
Greenpeace has leveled two main attacks again Clinton: 1) that the Super PAC supporting her campaign, Priorities Action USA, has received more than $3 million in donations from those connected with the fossil fuel industry, and 2) that Clinton’s campaign has taken $309,107 from “people working for fossil fuel companies.
The first criticism is particularly weak, because Clinton is legally prohibited from coordinating with the Super PAC. So there’s not much she could do about the vast majority of the donations fueling Greenpeace’s attack — even if she wanted to.
The second is a little trickier for Clinton to deflect, in part because she could theoretically have her campaign return all donations raised by those tied to oil or gas companies.
But this one doesn’t really add up, either. For one, Sanders himself has accepted more than $50,000 from the same category of donors, according to MSNBC. There’s no indication he plans to return that money.
“You could certainly try to set up a system where you routinely refund contributions from those tied to oil and gas,” says Bob Biersack, a senior fellow at the Center for Responsive Politics. “You could do it, theoretically, but I can’t think of an example of it ever being done.”
Months ago, Clinton, Sanders and O’Malley were asked to pledge to stop accepting “fossil fuel money.” Sanders and O’Malley signed the pledge, Hillary did not. Her not signing this indicates that she is less hostile toward these industries than her rivals are