Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

On Fracking, Clinton And Sanders Give Vastly Different Answers

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders gave vastly different answers on fracking at the CNN Democratic debate on Sunday, illustrating a key policy contrast between the two.

The candidates were asked by University of Michigan student Sarah Bellaire about whether they support fracking, the controversial process of injecting high-pressure water, sand, and chemicals underground to crack shale rock and let gas flow out more easily. Clinton, who answered first, said she does — but only under certain conditions.

Specifically, Clinton said that she would not support fracking when local communities don’t want it; when it causes pollution; and when fracking companies don’t disclose the chemicals they use.

“By the time we get through all of my conditions, I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place,” she said, adding that some places with fracking are not sufficiently regulated. “We have to regulate everything that is currently underway, and we have to have a system in place that prevents further fracking unless conditions like the ones that I just mentions are met.”

When asked the same question, however, Sanders had a different response.

“My answer is a lot shorter. No. I do not support fracking,” he said to applause.

Sanders was then challenged by CNN debate moderator Anderson Cooper, who noted that many Democratic governors say that fracking can be done safely, and that it’s helping their economies. Cooper asked: “Are they wrong?”

“Yes,” he said, to more applause. Sanders also hit Clinton for her campaign contributions from fossil fuel interests.

Later, Clinton defended her answer, saying that she had a comprehensive plan to fight climate change and usher in a clean energy economy. However, she said, fossil fuels will be needed while the United States transitions to more renewable energy.

“What I am looking at is how we make the transition to where we are today to where we must be,” she said.

Climate change and the future of fossil fuels are key topics where Sanders and Clinton differ. Clinton’s plan to combat the human-caused phenomenon focuses on vast increases in solar energy and other renewable technologies, promising a half a billion solar panels by 2021, or the end of Clinton’s first term. It does not, however, mention phasing out fossil fuels altogether.

Sanders’ plan, however, calls for a complete end to fossil fuels. It also calls for a revenue-neutral carbon tax, and an end to fossil fuel lobbying and tax breaks — both of which Clinton’s plan does not include.

Original Article
Author:  Emily Atkin

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