CNN hosted the Democrat presidential debate Sunday night in Flint, Michigan, a town that's currently undergoing a water crisis that's become the year's top environmental story so far.
CNN used the water crisis as a springboard to ask Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders a wider set of questions on the environment, including "do you support fracking?"
Each tried to prove their "green" bona fides in their responses. This was particularly important for Hillary to do, as Sanders' record on the environment is much more extensive and, well, leftist, than her own.
"Do you support fracking?" was the simple question posed by a member of the debate audience. Senator Clinton's response was long-winded and prevaricating. Sanders' was short and to the point.
“I don’t support it when any locality or any state is against it, number one. I don’t support it when the release of methane or contamination of water is present. I don’t support it, number three, unless we can require that anybody who fracks has to tell us exactly what chemicals they are using,” Clinton said. “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.”
Bernie Sanders immediately replied: “My answer is a lot shorter. No. I do not support fracking.”
Clinton failed to mention in her response that during her tenure as President Obama's Secretary of State, she worked with O&G companies to encourage the global spread of fracking.
During a 2010 gathering of foreign ministers in Washington, DC, she spoke about America’s plans to help spread fracking abroad. “I know that in some places [it] is controversial,” she said, “but natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel available for power generation today.” She later traveled to Poland for a series of meetings with officials, after which she announced that the country had joined the Global Shale Gas Initiative.