Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has performed a U-turn of sorts when asked about her stance on hydraulic fracturing.
In a long-winded reply during Sunday night’s Democratic debate in Flint, Michigan, Ms Clinton, who was known to promote fracking abroad in the past, said: “I don’t support it when any locality or any state is against it, number one. I don’t support it when the release of methane or contamination of water is present. I don’t support it, number three, unless we can require that anybody who fracks has to tell us exactly what chemicals they are using,” adding: “By the time we get through all of my conditions, I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place.”
Her opponent, Bernie Sanders’ reply was succinct: “My answer is a lot shorter. No. I do not support fracking”.
Clinton’s newly-adopted tough stance on hydraulic fracturing is a major departure from her role in promoting shale exploration abroad as Secretary of State under President Barack Obama. For instance, she promoted shale development in Bulgaria, even in the face of strong opposition from local and environmental groups. Clinton “agreed to help fly in the ‘best specialists on these new technologies to present the benefits to the Bulgarian people,’” according to liberal outlet Mother Jones.
U.S. shale revolution is the main reason for the country’s transformation from energy-starved to an exporter of crude and natural gas. But while shale exploration has created wealth for many, environmentalists have long raised alarm over the damage the process caused to the environment, and the quickening of global warming caused by methane leaks and rampant gas flaring.
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