This morning, the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund endorsed a Presidential Primary candidate for the first time ever. Instead of voting with the candidate who is staunchly opposed to the continued use of coal and natural gas, who has been pushing heavily for climate change to be a national issue, the organization endorses a candidate who happens to be pro-fracking.
What surprise, so is the head of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Rhea Suh.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved the nomination of Rhea Suh Thursday to oversee fish, wildlife and parks programs at the Department of the Interior, despite Republican protests that she is antagonistic toward natural gas. "This position is charged not with overseeing energy production, but with overseeing fish, wildlife and parks," Landrieu said.
The quote to highlight from the above article is from Mary Landrieu, Louisiana Democrat, who stated:
"This position is charged not with overseeing energy production, but with overseeing fish, wildlife and parks,” Landrieu said. “Ms. Suh repeatedly reiterated her support for natural gas production before this committee. She stated unequivocally that she would absolutely support responsible development of natural gas and other fossil fuels from our public lands.”
and then, later on in the article, Senator Maria Cantewell of Washington defends Rhea Suh by noting that
"Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) said Suh’s work reforming Interior after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico resulted in faster approval times drilling permits, resulting in an increase in oil and gas production on federal lands.
“So, hardly a case of somebody who took a role and responsibility and did something other than oil and gas production,” Cantwell said.
All this of someone who once wrote that the speed and reach of our fracking program is "easily the single greatest threat to the ecological integrity of the west".
Sadly, it seems that the political interests have won. In a time period when "overseeing fish, wildlife and parks" cannot be separated from our overall environmental policy, it is extremely sad that the NRDC would fail both our planet and those who support environmental policy reform. While most people are right that we cannot end natural gas usage overnight, supporting candidates who looks to expand the industry and make it a normal part of our energy policy are absolutely failing in the mission to protect our planet.
In her statement posted to the NRDC Action Fund website, Rhea writes:
"Only one of those candidates wants to build a future powered by a clean energy economy. Only one of those candidates will make America a leader in the global fight against climate change. And only one of those candidates will work to ensure that every child and every family in America has clean water to drink, clean air to breathe, and a safe and healthy place to live."
This is absolute bullshit.
While Hillary certainly has done some good things for the environment, especially things like her clean stoves initiative, she's too entrenched with oil money and sees fracking as a way to move our country away from coal - replacing one poison with another because it's profitable. She's promoted fracking at home and abroad during her time as secretary of state. Her family's charitable organization takes lots and lots of big oil money. She supported offshore drilling in 2006. She once called the Trans Pacific Partnership as the gold standard in trade deals, though we know that would weaken environmental standards worldwide (though its proponents say otherwise), with Carter Roberts of the World Wildlife Fund stating "The lack of fully-enforceable environmental safeguards means negotiators are allowing a unique opportunity to protect wildlife and support legal sustainable trade of renewable resources to slip through their fingers.” It took Hillary months and months to come out as opposed to the Keystone pipeline, though thankfully she eventually did.
Our greatest fear, as was echoed by Bill McKibben of 350.org last year, "is not that Clinton will be an anti-environmental president, by any means, but that she'll prove to be a "small-bore, play-it-safe, incremental" one."
So what makes her the "Only Candidate who wants to build a future powered by a clean energy economy"? Nothing. In fact, there are atleast two other presidential contenders who have stronger policies on the environmental, and at least one of them is a Democrat. Bernie Sanders believes that Fracking in unacceptable under any circumstances. Why? Because it's killing the fucking planet.
Only Bernie Sanders has gone so far as to equate environmental policy with terrorism. He's completely anti-fracking. No fracking, anywhere. You remember Rhea? The "
Bernie's level of advocacy for the environment extends back three decades, including a 100% score in 2015 from the League of Conversation voters, and a 95% score lifetime.
So why does this happen? The Atlantic ran an interesting story last year with League of Conversation voters spit on Bernie's thirty year record, in what appears to be a move towards insider access. One might assume the motivation in NRDCAF's case to be similar:
From that article:
"Democratic activist and strategist Glenn Hurowitz says LCV’s approach is consistent with how most other Washington, D.C.-centered progressive groups are approaching the race...“Sure, Bernie has been more of an environmental champion than Hillary, but he's also been more of a champion of labor, and that hasn't stopped her from racking up union endorsements...It means they're less likely to inculcate fear from candidates, or provide an incentive for candidates to vote with them, but perhaps they do get more insider influence,” he said in an email.
We can see how well incremental change has been going for the environment...
As a membership organization, NRDC and NRDCAF rely in individual donors to create their budget. They also should rely on that same membership to help discern their policy positions and what candidates to support. As a vocal public, we should make it obvious beyond question how we feel about NRDCAF's decision to back the establishment candidate, who will likely "stay the course" of Obama's giant shrug to the environment. Let NRDC know that nowhere near enough has been done to protect this planet, and that Hillary is not the best choice to lead our policy onward into the future.
Quick Contacts and Auto-Tweets
We know that life is busy and that some people don't have time to contact every Politician/Organization/trustee/whoever and let them know how they feel about the issues, so whenever something goes wonky along the campaign trail, we create these easy contact pages to help the public speak out! Please be polite - there's no reason to be mean. Just good reason to be straightforward.
Below you will find the contact information for NRDC, NRDC Action Fund and its Board of Trustees. The Board is a very very long list of individuals and, as such, we will be adding them throughout the day. Until then, we've included the most important contacts right away, expect more board of trustees to be added. They are as follows:
Patricia Bauman, Chair
Hamilton (Hal) Candee
Jo Ann Kaplan
Edward James Olmos
Daniel R. Tishman