When confronted by a Greenpeace activist Thursday afternoon in New York, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton angrily condemned the “lies” from opponent Bernie Sanders’ campaign.
The unidentified activist asked Clinton about money she has accepted from fossil-fuel companies, prompting the candidate to clarify: “I do not have that kind of money from people who work for fossil-fuel companies.” As the activist continued to press Clinton on the matter, the Democratic frontrunner became openly irritated, pointing at the woman and saying, “I am so sick. I am so sick of the Sanders campaign lying about me. I’m sick of it.”
But the activist was mostly correct. In July 2015, Clinton disclosed a list of lobbyists who were bundling contributions for her campaign. That included Scott Parven and Brian Pomper, lobbyists at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, who have been registered lobbyists for Chevron for nearly 10 years. Clinton has been insistent on her desire to regulate hydraulic-fracturing practices, but in March held a fundraiser with investors of the controversial practice. She did not sign a pledge that her Democratic opponents at the time—Sanders and Martin O’Malley—did while vowing not to accept donations from fossil-fuel companies.
Sanders has taken her to task for accepting contributions from Wall Street-affiliated lobbyists, while positioning himself to the left of Clinton on climate change. He has promised to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions by 40 percent by 2030 while she has come up with a similar plan of reduction of 30 percent by 2025.
Clinton’s campaign later provided a statement from Hillary for America spokesman Nick Merrill condemning the attacks. “Hillary Clinton has a proven record of leadership when it comes to combatting climate change and has fought against fossil-fuel interests for decades,” the statement reads. “On this campaign, she has laid out tangible, ambitious goals to make America the clean-energy superpower of the 21st century and has repeatedly called for eliminating tax breaks for oil and gas companies.... The simple truth is that this campaign has not taken a dollar from oil and gas industry PACs or corporations.”
It goes on to emphasize that the money her campaign has received is from individuals who work for fossil fuel-related companies. “By the same metric, Bernie Sanders has taken more than $50,000 on this campaign from individuals working for oil and gas companies. Assuming they don’t believe their own candidate is bought by the fossil-fuel industry, they should stop the false attacks and do what they’ve claimed the campaign is about: debating the issues.”
Sanders has in fact received more than $54,000 from individuals from the oil and gas industry, according to Open Secrets.
The Sanders campaign seemed to agree with the activist’s thoughts, saying: “The truth is that Secretary Clinton has relied heavily on funds from lobbyists working for the oil, gas, and coal industry.”