Hillary Clinton Stakes Out Climate Change Agenda

(Bloomberg) — Hillary Clinton said she would both defend
and go beyond the efforts by President Barack Obama to address
climate change in the first detailed description of her
potential environmental polices if elected president.

Clinton released what her campaign said was the opening
salvo of the Democrat’s energy and climate change agenda Sunday,
while she was campaigning in Iowa.

Among other things, Clinton pledged to defend from legal or
political attack the Obama administration’s rule to cut carbon
pollution from the nation’s fleet of power plants.

A Clinton administration would go further, rewarding
communities that speed rooftop solar panel installation, backing
a contest for states to go beyond the minimums called for in the
environmental rules, and boosting solar and wind production on
federal lands.

A four-page campaign fact sheet said the goal was to
increase the share of U.S. power generation from renewable
sources to 33 percent by 2027, compared to 25 percent under
Obama’s carbon plan.

The announcement “makes it more clear than ever that she
cares deeply about climate change and will make it a top
priority throughout her campaign,” Tiernan Sittenfeld, senior
vice president of the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund,
said in a statement.

State Mandates

The majority of U.S. states had already established their
own renewable power goals by 2012, according to the federal
Energy Information Administration.

California has a goal of buying 33 percent of its power
from renewable energy resources by 2020. The state describes
this renewables portfolio standard on its website as “one of
the most ambitious” in the country.

The early announcement of Clinton’s climate plan contrasts
with the last presidential election cycle, in which neither
major-party nominee highlighted the issue. Environmental
advocates started a social media effort to try to get both
campaigns to at least talk about the the climate.

Since winning re-election, Obama has made fighting climate
a top priority and introduced a series of measures. He said this
month that getting a global deal on cutting greenhouse-gas
emissions is the remaining top priority of his tenure.

The mix of policies laid out by Clinton include a pledge to
produce enough renewable energy in a decade to power every U.S.
home, and to curb gasoline demand, neither an easy task. U.S.
gasoline usage is up this year, as lower prices boost driving.
The campaign’s plans don’t include any actions aimed
specifically at helping oil, natural gas or coal producers.

Clinton said she would help coal-dependent communities,
such as those in West Virginia or eastern Kentucky, cope with
the transition away from the carbon-heavy fuel. Obama had made a
similar pledge in his most recent budget.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Mark Drajem in Washington at
mdrajem@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Jon Morgan at
jmorgan97@bloomberg.net
Ros Krasny

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