Where is Hillary on climate change?

ClimateWire reports: Over the past year, she has toughened her rhetoric against climate science-denying Republicans and recently brought on former White House adviser John Podesta, architect of Obama’s climate strategy, to run her campaign.

But that might not be enough for the green base of voters who might view Clinton with a dose of skepticism for taking a neutral stand on the Keystone XL pipeline. They argue that with Republicans sharpening their knives against President Obama’s power plant emissions cuts, the United States needs a president who can be counted on to defend and advance U.S. climate policy.

Some activists said they remain bitter that international negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark, did not result in a legally binding deal and question whether Clinton is the right person to champion a low-carbon future.

“I think she has an awful lot to prove to environmentalists,” said Bill McKibben, founder of 350.org. “Her record so far is undistinguished.”

“She was our nation’s top diplomat when the climate fiasco in Copenhagen unfolded,” he added. “So I think it’s going to take more than just standing up and saying ‘I believe in climate science’ to convince many of us that she really understands the level of crisis we’re dealing with.”

To rally those voters who are passionate about addressing climate change, Clinton might have to build on Obama’s rules on power plant emissions, not just defend them, McKibben said. That might mean banning new oil drilling in the Atlantic and the Arctic in order to, in his words, “leave most of the carbon we know about underground.”

In announcing her bid for 2016, Clinton did not mention climate change or give any indication of how she would handle Obama’s climate legacy. [Continue reading…]

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