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Hillary Clinton Opposes Offshore Drilling, Vows to Look Into Fossil Fuel Industry Donations
When asked by Steve Patterson, a leader of local group 350 Iowa, about pledging not to accept money from the fossil fuel industry, Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton responded by revealing her full opposition to offshore drilling and vowed to further look into any donations she has received from the fossil fuel industry.
“Clinton said that she doesn’t think there are a lot of people who support her who have ties to fossil fuels, but as it turns out, nearly every one of her top bundlers are connected with the industry in some way. That raises some serious concerns,” said Yong Jung Cho, Campaign Coordinator with 350 Action. “Clinton will have to continue to demonstrate a firmer commitment to keep fossil fuels in the ground if she wants to win over the trust of people who are concerned that the likes of ExxonMobil still have a stranglehold on our government.”
An analysis by the Huffington Post concluded that nearly all of Clinton’s top bundlers have ties with the fossil fuel industry. They include the likes of ExxonMobil executive Theresa Mary Fariello, who raised $21,200 for the Clinton campaign and Gordon Giffin, a former lobbyist for TransCanada, the company who tried to build Keystone XL, who has raised more than $100,000. Meanwhile, the Clinton Global Initiative has accepted millions of dollars from major fossil fuel companies like Exxon and Chevron, along with Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter.
Clinton’s opposition to drilling off the coast of the U.S. comes months after she expressed her opposition to drilling in the Arctic in order to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
Steve Patterson: Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley have both committed to not take money from the fossil fuel industry. Would you be willing to sign a pledge that you will not take money from the fossil fuel industry?
Hillary Clinton: Well, I don’t know that I ever have. I’m not exactly one of their favorites.
Patterson: You have.
Clinton: I’ll check on that. They certainly haven’t made much of an impression on me if I didn’t even know it. Look, I am committed to moving away from fossil fuels toward clean, renewable energy … I just told an interviewer that I was doing a phone interview with in South Carolina, I am not in favor of drilling off of our coasts. I was out there first, before even the President, saying no drilling the Arctic…
Clinton: Individuals who might have some connection to whatever industry, I’m not going to do a litmus test on them. I don’t think that there’s a lot who support me, but the companies don’t, because they know I’m going to be very adamant about moving us towards clean renewable energy and I think that’s the way it should be. They should know where we’re going and how I’m going to try and get you there.
I’ll take a look at what I’ve already gotten and obviously I will do everything I can to know that everyone who gives me money knows exactly what I’m going to do when I am elected, there’s no doubt about that.
Patterson: So, you will commit to not, if you are getting their money, to stop taking it?
Clinton: Well, I’m going to take a look and see ... I mean, you’re asking me a question I never pay any attention to because they don’t actually come and talk to me. I think they think I’m a lost cause.
350 Action is working in primary states to urge candidates for president to take bold action on climate change by pledging to keep fossil fuels in the ground and support a just transition to a 100 percent renewable energy.
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A powerful volcano on Monday rocked an uninhabited island frequented by tourists about 30 miles off New Zealand's coast. Authorities have confirmed that five people died. They expect that number to rise as some are missing and police officials issued a statement that flights around the islands revealed "no signs of life had been seen at any point,", as The Guardian reported.
"Based on the information we have, we do not believe there are any survivors on the island," the police said in their official statement. "Police is working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died, further to the five confirmed deceased already."
The eruption happened on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island, an islet jutting out of the Bay of Plenty, off the country's North Island. The island is privately owned and is typically visited for day-trips by thousands of tourists every year, according to The New York Times.
My god, White Island volcano in New Zealand erupted today for first time since 2001. My family and I had gotten off it 20 minutes before, were waiting at our boat about to leave when we saw it. Boat ride home tending to people our boat rescued was indescribable. #whiteisland pic.twitter.com/QJwWi12Tvt— Michael Schade (@sch) December 9, 2019
Michael Schade / Twitter
At the time of the eruption on Monday, about 50 passengers from the Ovation of Seas were on the island, including more than 30 who were part of a Royal Caribbean cruise trip, according to CNN. Twenty-three people, including the five dead, were evacuated from the island.
The eruption occurred at 2:11 pm local time on Monday, as footage from a crater camera owned and operated by GeoNet, New Zealand's geological hazards agency, shows. The camera also shows dozens of people walking near the rim as white smoke billows just before the eruption, according to Reuters.
Police were unable to reach the island because searing white ash posed imminent danger to rescue workers, said John Tims, New Zealand's deputy police commissioner, as he stood next to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a press conference, as The New York Times reported. Tims said rescue workers would assess the safety of approaching the island on Tuesday morning. "We know the urgency to go back to the island," he told reporters.
"The physical environment is unsafe for us to return to the island," Tims added, as CNN reported. "It's important that we consider the health and safety of rescuers, so we're taking advice from experts going forward."
Authorities have had no communication with anyone on the island. They are frantically working to identify how many people remain and who they are, according to CNN.
Geologists said the eruption is not unexpected and some questioned why the island is open to tourism.
"The volcano has been restless for a few weeks, resulting in the raising of the alert level, so that this eruption is not really a surprise," said Bill McGuire, emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, as The Guardian reported.
"White Island has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years," said Raymond Cas, emeritus professor at Monash University's school of earth, atmosphere and environment, as The Guardian reported. "Having visited it twice, I have always felt that it was too dangerous to allow the daily tour groups that visit the uninhabited island volcano by boat and helicopter."
The prime minister arrived Monday night in Whakatane, the town closest to the eruption, where day boats visiting the island are docked. Whakatane has a large Maori population.
Ardern met with local council leaders on Monday. She is scheduled to meet with search and rescue teams and will speak to the media at 7 a.m. local time (1 p.m. EST), after drones survey the island, as CNN reported.
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