Hillary Clinton relaunched her campaign on Saturday, June 13 with a rally at Roosevelt Island in New York City. Energy popped up in a number of ways.
First up, she mocked Republicans who are skeptical of climate change:
Ask many of these candidates about climate change, one of the defining threats of our time, (cheers, applause) and they’ll say: “I’m not a scientist.” (Laughter.) Well, then, why don’t they start listening to those who are? (Cheers, applause.)
This is a tactic that has been used successfully by a number of recent Democratic candidates, most notably Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe. This line lets Hillary talk about climate change without talking about any of the negative consequences. President Obama, of course, set the standard for the wrong way of talking about it back in 2008 when he said his climate policy would cause energy prices to “skyrocket.”
Later, Hillary spoke about energy in a way that reflects today’s energy abundance. Rather than talk about driving up the price of coal, she was able to talk about deploying cleaner energy while helping those hurt by the changes.
And we will make America the clean energy superpower of the 21st century. (Cheers, applause.)
Developing renewable power – wind, solar, advanced biofuels…
Building cleaner power plants, smarter electric grids, greener buildings…
Using additional fees and royalties from fossil fuel extraction to protect the environment… (cheers, applause)
And ease the transition for distressed communities to a more diverse and sustainable economic future from coal country to Indian country, from small towns in the Mississippi Delta to the Rio Grande Valley to our inner cities, we have to help our fellow Americans. (Cheers, applause.)
Now, this will create millions of jobs and countless new businesses, and enable America to lead the global fight against climate change. (Cheers, applause.)
Now, if you are in the oil and gas industry there are a couple things in there that should give you pause. First, she is talking about raising taxes. That is pretty much a standard talking point for Democrats, though, and not much of a revelation here. The speech also begs the question of where natural gas fits into the “clean energy” landscape. Hillary has been a supporter of natural gas in the past. At the State Department, she created a Global Shale Gas Initiative that was aimed at spreading natural gas production around the globe to create a more stable world and reduce climate emissions. She has been moving left, however, so it will be worth keeping an eye on how she talks about gas.